Giving birth to a baby is a special and unique experience for any mother.Labor and delivery can be very intimidating especially if you are a first time mom. So as the due date comes closer, a pregnant woman is filled with a lot anxiety about labor and its duration. For every woman the experience is different. For some it will be a fast labor and for others labor might last for a day or two. Well, it is difficult to predict how long your labor will last since every woman is different and no two deliveries are identical. Read on to understand the stages of labor and what to expect in each stage and how long it may last.
You would have heard your friends or relatives recalling their labor as lasting for two to three days. This includes the early or latent phase of labor. So yes, labor does start days before the delivery. However, it does not mean that you will experience strong contractions and pain throughout those days. So if anyone says that they were in labor for a couple of days, they are definitely not meaning the active phase of labor. They are merely calculating the time as per the signs of the early phase of labor when they felt a few twinges. The early labor phase is unpredictable. It may start and then stop. Another interesting fact is that it is not necessary that all pregnant women will experience this latent/ early phase.
There are several factors that determine the duration of labor:
(Source: www.livescience.com )
There are three stages of labor:
It is further divided into three phases
|3 Phases Of First Stage Of Labor|
|Phase||Dilation of Cervix||Nature of Contraction||Duration of Contraction||Duration of Phase|
|Early labor phase||cervix dilates to 3 cm||Irregular and mild contraction||Lasts 30 to 45 seconds with 5 to 30 minutes break in between||It can last around 8-12 hours|
|Active labor phase||cervix dilates from 4cm to 7cm||Stronger and longer contractions||Lasts 45 to 60 seconds with 3 to 5 minutes break in between||It can last anywhere from 3- 5 hours|
|Transitional phase||cervix dilates fully to 10 cm||Strong, intense and overlapping contractions||Lasts 60 to 90 seconds with 30 seconds to 2 minutes break in between||It can last around 30 minutes to 2 hours|
From drugs to breathing techniques, there are several methods to ease your pain during labor. So there is no need to worry about the duration of labor. The more you relax, easier the delivery will be. At the end all this is going to be worthwhile. Once you take your baby in your arms, you are not going to remember the duration or the pain of labor. Wish you a happy delivery.