Signs and Stages of Labor

220px-Infant_at_ChildbirthLabor or human childbirth takes about 15-20 hours for first-time moms. The process takes 3 major stages. But first, let’s recognize the signs of labor so you’ll know when to call your doctor and go to the hospital.

Signs of labor:

  • Diarrhea
  • Backache
  • Abdominal cramp (period-like)
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Urge to go to the toilet (this is because your baby’s head is pressing in your bowel)
  • “Show” or small bloodstained discharge
  • Contractions
  • Gush or drop of water as the membranes break

Stages of Labor:

First Stage

  • Early labor – You start having contractions as your cervix thins out. It then progresses into strong and regular contractions that last 30-60 seconds and come every 5 to 20 minutes. Keep your composure moms. I know your hearts raising. You can spend this stage at home or wherever you feel comfortable. You can walk around, take a shower, watch TV or let the hubby give you a gentle back massage.
  • Active labor – The contractions become stronger and more painful and you start feeling pressure in your lower back. At this phase, your cervix dilates from 8 to 10 centimeters. This is when you need to go to the hospital.

Second Stage:

The “pushing” stage & birth of your baby. This stage begins when your cervix is fully dilated and lasts until your baby is born. Your doctor will also guide you to push as the baby’s body parts start to show up starting with the crown. After delivery, the umbilical cord that connects the two of you will be cut.

Third Stage:

The delivery of placenta. This may last for 5-10 minutes. During this stage, you may experience chills. What you can do is relax

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