you actually get into it, you might want to know
what labour is?
Well, labour is a series of events that bring
about the opening up of the cervix (opening of
the mouth of uterus) descent of the foetus and
finally the delivery of the baby and the afterbirths.
is divided in to four stages:
is the beginning of labour. It commences with
the onset of true pain and uterine contractions,
which bring about gradual opening up of the cervix.
The opening of cervix is assessed in terms of
the cervix is fully opened or dilated as it is
medically referred to, it is approximately 10
cms in diameter.
is so because the diameter of the foetal head
(biparietal diameter) is approximately 9.5 cms
at full term.
The 1st stage can be divided in to
is the period from onset of true labour pain
to the time when the cervix is approximately
3 cms dilated.
During this period the intensity and frequency
of contraction and labour pain is less and the
progress is slow.
This may last for varying lengths of time from
6 hours to as much as 24 hours (rarely for 72
days up to a week).
In primigravida (woman pregnant for the first
time) it is longer than compared to a multigravida
(woman with more deliveries in the past).
duration labour itself is usually shorter in
women who have delivered previously.
is the part of labour where cervix dilates from
3 cms to 10 cms (full dilatation). During
this phase there is progressive increase in
the intensity, duration and frequency of uterine
contraction and labour pains. This is to
facilitate the descent of the baby in to your
pelvis and also to force open the cervix completely
so that delivery can take place. This
stage in an average lasts for 4 – 8 hours. It
is usually shorter in women who have experienced
labour before and longer in first timers.
Since pain is a relative / subjective feeling,
it may be appreciated or felt differently by
different women. Some may find it only mildly
discomforting and others may find it very excruciating.
But, labour is a physiological or normal phenomenon
just like passing urine and stools. Hence if
you train your mind properly, the fear component
can be overcome and it may not be so uncomfortable
the cervix is fully dilated (10cm. diameter) The
baby can now pass out of the uterus, through the
vagina and be delivered. This part of labour from
full dilation of the cervix to delivery of the
baby is called the 2nd stage of labour.
During this stage, the contractions are
extremely strong and come every 2 – 3 minutes.
You may feel that the second contraction starts
before the cessation of the first one.
the baby is delivered, the uterus contracts and
shrinks in size. Due to this the placenta separates
from the inner surface of the uterus and is expelled
period after delivery of the baby to delivery
of the afterbirth is called 3rd stage
This usually lasts for more than 30 minutes. If
it lasts for more than 30 minutes, surgical intervention
may be needed to remove the placenta. Surgical
intervention may also be needed in case of excessive
bleeding during this stage.
is the period from the delivery of the afterbirth
to the time when the woman is examined and then
transferred to her room. This is usually done
after 2 hours of delivery.