What are the main stages of labour? 

Watch this video to learn the three main stages of labour.

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Transcript of What are the main stages of labour?

What are the main stages of labour?


Tracey: The first stage where you contractions actually make changes to your cervix and dilation occurs. The second stage where you push the baby out, and the third stage where you have the placenta and the midwife says that she’s happy that you’re not bleeding too heavily.


The first stage of labour can take any amount of time.  It can take several hours to get to full dilation.  From 4 to 10cm can take up to twelve hours, maybe.


[Nurse talking to patient]: First of all I’m just going to have a little feel of baby’s position.


Tracey: Depending on where you’ve chosen to have your baby depends on where this will happen. Labour can be at home, in a birthing unit or in a consultant-led unit.  The longer you spend at home in labour, the better it is for you, the less intervention and the more likelihood there is of you achieving a normal vaginal birth.


The second stage of labour’s the pushing stage of labour, the bit where your baby’s born.  Quite often, when you get to full dilation your body takes over and tells you exactly what to do.  Now and again you’ll need a hand.  Your midwife will guide you on how to push your baby out.  Pushing’s not something you do right from the beginning to right to the end.  You have to push with your contractions and you normally push at least three times during a contraction.  You get a breather in between.


When you get to the stage where the baby’s head is about to be born, your midwife may tell you to push differently.  She may ask you to stop pushing, she may ask you to give her a long hard push, she may ask you to give a small push or to pant.


[Nurse talking to patient]: The next contraction give me a big push. Well done, well done, well done, well done, well done.


Tracey: The first stage of labour is the delivery of your placenta.  Most of the time you won’t even realise it’s happened.  But beforehand you would have had a conversation about how you want your placenta to be delivered.  Sometimes the midwife will give you an injection into your thigh, sometimes you’ll do it all by yourself without the aid of drugs.  Once your baby’s born the best landing pad obviously is you.  It’s an ideal time for you to have skin to skin.  It’s a fantastic time – make the most of it.


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