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Stages of Labor

There are 3 stages of labor. During each stage, many changes are occurring within your body. The 3 stages are:

First Stage: occurring from the time true labor begins until the cervix is completely dilated and the baby can pass out of the uterus through the cervix.

Second Stage: occurring from complete cervical dilation until the birth of your baby.

Third Stage: following the birth of the baby until the placenta detaches from the uterine wall and is expelled through the vagina.

Factors That Affect Labor

There are many factors that will determine how long your labor will be or how long it takes to go from one stage to the next.

Chapter 4 – Understanding Labor and Birth 41

The Blending Of The Following Factors Can Affect Your Progress In Labor:

• Position of the baby’s head. • Size of baby.

• Presentation of baby.

• Size and shape of mother’s pelvis. • Mother’s physical and emotional state.

• The effectiveness of the contractions in dilating the cervix. • The birth partner and the support they provide. • Medications or anesthesia administered.

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