What are the 4 stages of labour?
Most women experience significant pain during labour and delivery. Labour happens in 4 stages:
- First stage: The cervix dilates with regular contractions which may last from 8 to 12 hours for first-time mothers.
- Second stage: The cervix is fully dilated (10cm) during this phase. The baby descends through the birth canal and is delivered with the mother’s pushing.
- Third stage: This stage is known as the Afterbirth stage, where the mother pushes out the placenta.
- Fourth stage: Recovery
Pains increase in intensity and frequency with the progress of labour. Different women perceive labour pain differently and this may be influenced by the woman’s previous labour experience, duration of the labour and the use of medications to accelerate the progress of labour.