Labour - stage 1 and possible signs

Marianne Littlejohn  with Megan.

The first stage of labour is the dilation stage, during which the cervix dilates completely 1 - 10 centimeters in diameter.

The contractions progress, that is, they become longer, stronger, and or closer together.

What is early labour - It lasts until the cervix is dilated to 4 or 5 centimeters. It can be called "latent labour".

In first time mothers this stage can last from 2 hours to 20 hours. The cervix continues thinning and opens to 4/5 cm.

Possible signs of early labour are:-

vague backache - making you change positions

several soft bowel movements with flu like symptoms

cramps - menstrual cramps

unusual burst of energy

blood tinged mucous discharge from the vagina

bag of waters leaks - resulting in a trickle of fluid from the vagina.

breaking of the waters with a pop or gush of fluid.

contractions or surges are a clear sign that the cervix is opening - 10 to 12 contractions lasting about 1 minute in length and occur 5 mins apart.

Active labour - 30 mins to 6 hours.

The cervix dilates from 5 to 8 cm.

Contractions become intense and painful.

Transition phase - 10 to 60 mins. The cervix dilates from about 8cm to 10cm.

Contractions are long, painful with little break between each contraction.

The mother feels pressure in the rectum and possibly the urge to push.  She feels restless and overwhelmed, irritable and may want to give up.  The mother may tremble and vomit.


0 #1 Virginia Oosthuizen 2011-10-23 16:11
Remember this night so well.. Megan was amazing!

What I Do

I am living my dream while working with mums and babies. I see mums when they are 34 weeks pregnant and then go to their homes once they go into labour. I stay for the full duration of the labour and after the birth I assist them with breast feeding. I do another visit after the birth to see that all is well and to help where I can.  Mums are always welcome to call me in the event that they have any questions, whether before or after the birth. I am passionate about my work as a doula and I care and love all the families with which I work. Once you have been present at a birth you feel part of the family and it’s wonderful to hear news of the new baby’s life as he or she grows.

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