Early Labor (Latent Phase) - Your Step-by-Step Guide to The Stages of Labor | Fit Pregnancy - Fit Pregnancy

Your Step-by-Step Guide to The Stages of Labor

From the first contractions through transition and birth, we get the lowdown on labor stages from Lamaze.

What’s Happening: Early Labor (Latent Phase)

The cervix continues to thin out and open, dilating to 3 or 4 centimeters. Labor is meant to be gradual, so this phase may take quite a while—usually about two-thirds of the total labor time. Over a period of several hours, contractions will become longer, stronger and more regular (about 5 minutes apart, each one lasting 25 to 45 seconds — but these times can vary). A pinkish vaginal discharge (called “show”) usually increases as labor progresses.

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Author Bio: 

By Judith Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE. Images courtesy of Lamaze.

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