What to Expect During Labor
Knowing the Signs of Labor
Mucus Plug or "Show"
- Contractions that come at regular intervals and last about 30-40 seconds. The contractions will become closer together with increasing intensity.
- Contractions that do not go away when you move around.
- Pain from the contractions that may be felt in the back and the front of your abdomen.
- Irregular cramps that do not get consistently closer.
- Contractions that stop when you walk, rest, or change position.
- Contractions that are felt only in the abdomen (not in the lower back).
The Stages of Labor
First Stage of Labor
- Hot and cold flashes
- Sensitivity to the environment
- Nausea or vomiting
- Leg cramps
- The urge to push
Second Stage of Labor
Third Stage of Labor
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
How to tell when labor begins. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/How-to-Tell-When-Labor-Begins. Updated May 2011. Accessed December 10, 2014.
Labor and birth. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/childbirth-beyond/labor-birth.html. Updated September 27, 2010. Accessed December 10, 2014.
Management of routine labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 21, 2014. Accessed December 10, 2014.
Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 29, 2014. Accessed December 10, 2014.
Stages of childbirth: Stage I. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/first-stage-of-labor. Updated May 2014. Accessed December 10, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/10/2014 -
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