Stages of Labor
Stages of Labor What to expect when you're expecting how to cope what your body does Relief
Signs of active labor are… Contractions that get longer, stronger and closer together. Contractions that have an average length of around 60 seconds. Contractions that are around 3-5 minutes apart. In early labor maybe they were more like 5-7 (or greater) minutes apart. Contractions that are timeable and predictable, whereas in early labor maybe they were every 5, then 7, then 4, then 10 minutes apart.
This image does a good job of showing and explaining some of the stages of labor, namly dilation. When doctors talk about this stage they not only use the word dilation but also effacement. In order to be ready to deliver a woman must be fully dilated and completely effaced. Effacement just means that the walls of the cervix are completely thinned out.