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Understanding the 3 Stages of Labor

Understanding the 3 Stages of Labor

If you’re pregnant, you probably have a long list of questions about labor. How do you know when you’re in labor? What does labor feel like? How does the experience of labor change as it progresses? 

Labor is divided into three stages. Each stage includes different experiences. To help you understand what to expect during labor’s three stages, our providers here at Westover Hills Women’s Health in San Antonio, Texas, would like to share some basic explanations about each stage. 

What follows is just a brief, general explanation. All women experience labor differently, and if you have more than one baby, each of your labors may proceed differently. 

If you have questions about your upcoming labor, ask Dr. Houmam Al-Hakeem, Dr. Edward B. Blackmon Jr., or one of our highly skilled certified nurse midwives during your next appointment. 

In the meantime, we invite you to consider the following information about the three stages of labor.

Stage 1: Labor begins

Labor begins during the first stage. It’s usually the longest stage, and it’s divided into three phases: early labor, active labor, and transition. Some highlights of stage 1 include:

At the end of stage 1, your cervix is fully dilated and effaced, and you’re ready to start pushing.

Stage 2: Your baby arrives

The second stage of labor is when you deliver your baby. Some highlights of stage 2 include:

At the end of stage 2, you welcome your baby into the world.

Stage 3: You deliver the placenta

Stage 3 begins after your baby’s birth. A few important things happen during this stage:

At the end of stage 3, your delivery is over.

Care for all of your pregnancy and delivery needs

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, we at Westover Hills Women’s Health can give you the expert, personalized care you need. To schedule a visit at one of our two San Antonio, Texas, offices, call us today or use our online tool to book an appointment.

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