Labour and birth

Knowing what may happen during labour will help you feel prepared. Labour is different for every woman – and often for every baby she has.

Health professionals describe it as being in three stages. Knowing what is likely to happen during each stage will help you plan and prepare for your baby's arrival – something you may feel both excited and nervous about at the same time.

Labour and Birth

The first stage

The first stage is usually the longest. It can last for twenty hours, and occasionally even longer.

The second stage

This is when your baby actually arrives. It starts when your cervix is fully dilated and ends with the birth of your baby.

The third stage

This stage of labour includes the delivery of the placenta and membranes, and the control of bleeding.

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