Normal Delivery

Labour and effacement of the cervix

The first stage of the normal delivery process involves contractions which help the cervix dilate, soften and stretch so that the baby can be delivered. This stage is the longest and can last up to 13 hours during a woman’s first delivery and about 7-8 hours for subsequent deliveries.

Early labour

The mother becomes aware of the contractions that occur at an interval of every 3 to 5 minutes. The cervix dilates up to 4 centimetres. The mother can spend early labour at home. However, the doctor should be informed.

Active labour

The mother transitions to the active phase when the contractions become stronger and more frequent. They occur at intervals of 3-4 minutes and each one lasts for about a minute. The cervix dilates up to 7 cm. The mother must be taken to the hospital for delivery. The water breaks as labour progress through this stage. Thereafter, contractions further speed