What to Expect During Labor


If you are a first-time mother, chances are you don’t know what will happen the moment you enter into labor. Almost every expectant mother frets over what might happen in the labor room.  Although there is a lot of information out there about what happens in labor, it is good to keep in mind that every labor experience is different.

The last days of your pregnancy can be frustrating, and they may never seem to end. Contractions may sometimes get a little bit stronger and make you wonder if the moment has finally arrived. You may walk into a birthing facility only to be sent back home.

So, what happens during true labor?  Read on to find out everything that you need to know.

First Stage of Labor

During the first stage of labor, the regular contractions will make your cervix start to open up. This can sometimes be the longest stage of labor, and it might take many hours or days before you transition into the established labor.

During this stage, it is always good to eat or drink something since you will need a lot of energy to push the baby out. If the initial stages of your labor start at night, try as much as possible to remain calm and relaxed.  Try to sleep if you can and don’t panic.

If the initial stage of your labor starts before nightfall, try to stay in the upright posture and stay active. This will help your little one move down rapidly and open up your cervix which is critical for a pain-free birth.  Taking a warm shower, breathing deeply, and a massage can help ease the pain during the first stage of labor.

Second Stage of Labor

This is where your midwife comes in to ensure that everything is okay. The second stage starts when your cervix is fully open until the birth of your little one. The most critical thing that happens during the second phase is the descending off your baby, and this is when the midwife will help you find the best birthing position.

During the second stage of labor, you may want to sit down, squat, or lie on your side. Squatting may be a little bit difficult unless you are used to it. If you have experienced lots of backache during the first stage of labor, kneeling on all your fours may help at this stage.

If you attended HypnoBirthing classes, this is the right time to enter into self-hypnosis to ensure a pain-free birth. When your cervix is fully open, your baby moves down the birth canal and towards the entrance of the vagina. At this moment, you will start to get the urge to push. If this is your first baby, the pushing stage may last for up to three hours.

Third Stage of Labor

The third stage of labor usually occurs when your baby is already out. Your womb will start to contract, and the placenta is forced out through the vagina. You can either have a treatment to speed up things or opt for natural healing.

Your doctor will assess your situation and recommend the best possible option for you.  There are some situations when medical treatment isn’t advisable, and your doctor or midwife will explain this to you.