Stages of Labor

1st stage-dilation of the cervix


Initially, the rhythmic contractions of the uterus cause the gradual dilation of the cervix, which usually lasts several hours.

The intensity and frequency of contractions are not the same all the time.

Initially, the intensity of the contractions is low, as is the pain felt by the woman.

The frequency of contractions is also low (about 1 contraction every 5 to 7 minutes).

This can take about 12 to 14 hours.

Gradually the contractions of the uterus become more and more frequent and more intense, while this results in faster dilation of the cervix.

Finally the 1st stage is completed with the full dilation of the cervix and the gradual transition to the 2nd stage which includes the descent of the fetus.


2nd stage - descent of the embryo


The fetus descends more and more through the cervix with each contraction of the uterus.

The descent of the fetus into the vagina causes the pregnant woman a strong feeling of expulsion.

The woman in every contraction of the uterus, i.e. in every pain (which now occurs every 1 to 2 minutes) shows a strong desire to tighten and finally give birth to the fetus.

The head of the fetus eventually ends at the opening of the labia.

With 1-2 pushings of the mother under the instructions of the doctor or midwife, the initial head is born.

In this phase, the doctor or midwife may need to perform a perineotomy, that is, the skin and underlying tissues in the lower part of the labia are cut.

Then the shoulders of the fetus and eventually the entire newborn will be born.

The doctor or midwife will tie and cut the umbilical cord and the newborn will be placed in a special place for his care.


3rd stage-exit of the placenta


Shortly after the birth of the newborn, the uterus performs new contractions, resulting in the exit of the placenta and the various membranes that surround the fetus when it is inside the uterus.

When the delivery is complete, the obstetrician checks the uterus and repairs any damage and tears in the woman's cervix, vagina and perineum with stitches.