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Childbirth: The Three Stages 
 
by Jasalynn Krissieanna September 04, 2005

The Three Stages Of Labor

The normal childbirth process has three stages. Giving birth for the first time can be pretty scary. No one can prepare you fully for the first birth, but having it explained will help you some.

The First Stage

Your first stage of labor will begin when you start experiencing uterine contractions. The contractions should be about 10-15 minutes apart. These contractions will end when your cervix is fully dilated so that the baby's head can pass through. This phase can last 7-13 hours for first pregnancies. After your first pregnancy it is shorter, usually 2-7 hours. As you go further into labor your contractions become more intense and stronger. The uterus contracts more frequently, which causes your contractions to come closer together. Your second stage of labor will begin when the head is positioned at the top of the cervical opening.

The Second Stage

The second stage of labor is known as the delivery. This stage begins when the head has passed through the cervix and into the vagina. This stage ends when the baby come out of your body. When this happens the doctor will tell you to bear down or push with each contraction. This is done to assist your child through the birth canal. This stage can last anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half.

The Third Stage

The third stage takes only a couple of minutes. In this stage your uterus once again will contract and expel the placenta from your body. You have now given birth to your little one. In this stage the doctor may also sew you up if you were torn or he had to make a little incision.

Giving birth can be very exhausting and can be pretty painful. But no two pregnancies are the same. Some women have very painful and long births. Then some have quick and easy births. No one can tell you exactly how you will feel. But looking in your baby's eyes for the first time makes it all worth it.

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