37. Happy birthday!
It’s happening! Now you need to recognise the various stages of labour, so that you know what to expect.
Once labour has finally begun in earnest, it’ll help if you and your partner have some idea what’s going on.
Whether it happens quickly or slowly, in a hospital delivery room or at home, your labour will progress through a fairly well defined series of stages.
Your cervix is thinning out (effacing) and dilating, opening from 0 cm to 3 cm (1.5 inches). Your contractions last about 30 to 45 seconds and can be irregular. If you are going to a birthing centre or hospital, try to stay at home for this phase to make labour seem shorter. Call your midwife to let her know what is happening. If you are birthing ...