Pregnancy Stages

You're pregnant and you are wondering about the pregnancy stages of labor, well let me explain this part of your pregnancy to you. Your labor will be divided into three stages.

3 Stages of Labor

• Dilation of the cervix

• Delivery of your baby

• Delivery of the placenta

If this is your first pregnancy, then labor can last any where from 12 to 24 hours. If you've already had a child then you can expect your labor to be have that long, however, there is no set rule or guarantee when it comes to how long that you will be in labor.

Braxton-Hicks contractions, which is false labor, can be mistaken for labor; these false contractions will usually start about mid-way through your pregnancy and continue until you finally give birth.

Some signs and symptoms of actual labor include:

• Period like cramps

• Backache

• Diarrhea

• A small bloodstained discharge as your cervix thins and the mucus plug drops out

• A gush or trickle of water as the membranes break

• Contractions

The first stage of delivery occurs when the cervix starts to thin and dilates to around 10 cm. this process can take a matter of hours or weeks and is usually accompanied by mild contractions. Then, you will start experiencing strong, painful contractions ever 3-4 minutes and intensify as you prepare to give birth.

The next stage is when you feel your baby move through the vagina and your baby's head will appear at the opening of your vagina - they call this crowning by the way. Once the head has emerged, your doctor will turn the body to deliver the shoulders, and then the rest of the baby will slip out.

The final stage is when the placenta slips out which occurs anywhere from 5-30 minutes later. Your uterus gently contracts to loosen and push out the placenta, although you probably won't even feel these contractions.

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