Labor and Birth Packet Preview - Page 11

Labor and Birth 9

First Stage : Dilation

First stage labor may be divided into three phases : early / latent labor , active labor , and transition .
Early Labor
Active Labor
• Relatively mild contractions , • More intense contractions , which may feel like cramps or a which continue to grow low backache . progressively stronger ,
• Contractions 5 to 20 + minutes closer and longer . apart , lasting 30-45 seconds . • Contractions every 5
• Possible loose stools , increased minutes or closer , lasting vaginal discharge , blood-tinged 60 seconds or longer . mucus and / or a nesting instinct . • Active labor may last
• Early labor is usually the longest anywhere from an hour up part , lasting from a few hours to to 8 hours or more . a few days .
• The cervix dilates from

• The cervix dilates from 0 to 6 cm 6 to 8 cm with complete with some effacement . effacement . Preview

Transition
• Intense , long contractions that may “ double peak ” and have little break between .
• Contractions every 2-3 minutes , lasting 60-90 seconds .
• Nausea , shaking , hot / cold flashes , irritability or doubt in your ability to continue .
• Transition is the shortest phase , lasting 10-60 minutes , and may be intense and challenging .
• Dilation generally goes from 8 to 10 cm ( also called complete ) and baby drops low in the pelvis .
Active labor is usually the most appropriate time to leave for your birth place . Your care provider may recommend using the 5-1-1 , 4-1-1 or 3-1-1 rule ( contractions every 5 , 4 , or 3 minutes , lasting one minute , for one hour ) to help you decide , though it is important to also consider the intensity of the contractions , behavioral cues , and the distance you will be traveling when making this decision .
Complete dilation to scale
First stage labor is over when the cervix reaches 10 cm , or complete dilation .
Labor and Birth 9