Labor: What are the Stages of Labor?

You may think that knowing when you are in labor is obvious, but for many women, it may not be so simple. The first stage of labor describes the time at which labor begins until a woman’s cervix is fully dilated to around 10cm. This period can last anywhere from 12-19 hours in duration. The first stage of labor is divided into three separate parts. The second and third stages are one component each. You should always speak with your health care team about any concerning symptoms that may be cause for emergent evaluation.

Key Takeaways:

  • 1The different signs of labor and what they look like.
  • 2The three stages of labor and what happens to the woman during each stage.
  • 3The different options available to the woman for pain management during labor

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All pain is not equal and women may experience pain differently during the labor and delivery process. While some women do not require pain medication, many do. There are various ways to manage pain during labor which include both natural and medicinal methods


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