4 Stages Of Labor | Stages Of Labor Dilation

4 STAGES OF LABORstages of labor

Though every woman will have a different labor story and a different labor experience, yet the phases or the stages of the labor remain the same.

Labour goes on and about in 4 stages. The 4 stages of labor are as described below:

1st Stage Of Labor: ACTIVE LABOUR

In this stage of labor, you have stronger and intense contractions. Contractions initially may happen in the interval of 20 minutes.

This is when the cervix is dilating at 3 to 4 centimetres. The intensity may increase to contractions occurring every 5 minutes for about 60 seconds.

The cervix is dilating and this is when the labor is called active labor because the cervix dilates up to 10 centimetres for giving birth.

So when the cervix dilates up to 4 centimetres active labor has already started. At this stage, you may also feel increased back pain and you will be even unable to talk.

During this stage only you are ready to give birth and this is when you go to the hospital for the delivery process.

2nd Stage Of Labor: TRANSITION

In the transition stage, the cervix dilates up to 10 centimeters. This is the shortest stage of labor.

As the cervix is dilating, the pain starts to increase. The contractions become powerful and fierce and it becomes difficult to even stand.

You struggle at this point to cope with the growing contractions and you start shivering.

This is the shortest stage of labor and it is now when the time has come to finally delivery your baby.

3rd Stage Of Labor: PUSHING STAGE

The second last of 4 stage labor is pushing stage. The cervix dilates up to 10 centimetres and this is when the baby’s head has come near to the cervix. It is ready to come out.

The reason why cervix dilates to such an extent is that the baby’s head has come down or towards it. You feel the urge to push and push harder.

With each contraction, you tend to push and with each push, the baby comes out a little more. Once the baby’s head and shoulders are out, it becomes easier for the baby itself to slip out and enter the world.


Once the baby is delivered, the placenta also comes out of the womb. With the placenta coming out you will experience some more mild or moderate cramps.

This is the 4th stage of labor. The labor ends when finally the placenta comes out and the umbilical cord is cut.

The labor ends and your baby is finally in front of you.


As you already know now that the cervix dilates to give way for the baby, the dilation of cervix also happens in three stages. These stages of labor dilation are – early labor phase, the active labor phase, and transition labor phase.

  1. Early Labour Phase: In the early labor phase the cervix starts to dilate from the time when labor starts up to the time when it dilates till 3 centimetres. At this stage, it is essential for you to take complete rest and don’t rush to the doctor unless you feel strong and acute contractions. Nevertheless, the contractions occur but irregularly and last for about 40 seconds. These are mild contractions.
  2. Active Labour Phase: The second stage of labor dilation is an active stage. Under this stage, the cervix continues dilating from 3 centimeters to 7 centimeters. You should go to the hospital at this stage and breathe deeply and take complete rest.
  3. Transition Labour Phase: The final stage of labor dilation is the transition stage when the cervix dilates completely up to 10 centimetres. At this juncture, contractions are fierce and last to about 2 hours. You might feel the need to puke. No matter how hard this phase is, it is also the shortest.

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