The Fruits Of Labor: Understanding The Stages Of Giving Birth

Health & Medical Blog

If you are about to give birth, knowing what is happening to your body as you endure labor is a great comfort. In fact, this knowledge can make labor less mysterious and thus, less scary. Of course, you are likely to be terrified no matter what -- you are about to become a parent! This knowledge may save you from some of the pain and fear of the unknown.

Early Labor

Did you know that the first stages of labor can last up to three days? While rare, it's true. During this stage, the cervix dilates to about three centimeters and your water will break. You will probably notice that it is hard to stay busy, sleep, or eat. You may struggle to focus as you feel contractions, which may become mild and more consistent. Ultimately, they will increase in intensity and become more frequent, moving from every 30 minutes to every 5 minutes.

In most cases, doctors advise patients that it is not necessary to come to the hospital until the water breaks. Of course, you should always use your own judgment and call the doctor if you have questions about when you should arrive at the hospital. If this is your first labor, call the doctor when your contractions become more frequent.

Active Labor

Active labor is the time to get to the hospital. If you are going into active labor, you are likely dilated to about seven centimeters. These contractions tend to occur about every three to five minutes and could last less than one minute, but they will get closer together. As they get closer together, contractions are an indicator that you should be going to the hospital or calling your midwife. It's a good time to practice relaxation and breathing techniques often learned in birthing classes to relieve discomfort.


This is the last stage of labor, and it is considered the most difficult. This phase may last up to three hours while the cervix dilates to 10 centimeters. Transition is characterized by strong, intense contractions that last about 90 seconds or less. You may begin to experience these contractions every 30 seconds, and you should already be at the hospital by this point.

If you have reached transition, the baby is about to be born. You may experience nausea, chills, vomiting, and hot flashes as a result. Let the doctor know as you begin to feel the urge to push. Best of all, reaching transition means that you will soon hold a baby in your arms.

For more information, be sure to consult with a doctor like those at OB-GYN Associates.


19 November 2015

Staying in Great Health Requires Exercise

My parents taught me healthy eating habits and I played outside a lot as a kid. Once I was old enough to work, I got a job as a waiter at a restaurant and kept waiting tables throughout high school and college. After college, I got my very first desk job, and my health started declining. I soon realized that even though I had never stepped foot in a gym, I was living a sedentary lifestyle for the first time in my life. I wasn't getting exercise playing outside or running around at work, so I decided to commit to going to the gym. My health began to improve and I now greatly enjoy bodybuilding. I know many other people are in ill health and can't figure out why, so I decided to start a blog to share my health tips and inspire everyone improve their health!