Station Pregnancy | Stations In Labor And Delivery

Station PregnancyStation Pregnancy

Station pregnancy is also termed as the normal delivery. It includes fetal station which means to check the progress of the baby.

If the baby is progressing in a right way and it can be seen by examination of fetal station, then doctors can confirm the station delivery otherwise they may opt for cesarean delivery.

Basically, station pregnancy is done after checking the progress of the baby’s head in the pelvis of the mother.

The station is measured in relation to the baby’s head position.  Negative and positive numbers, depending upon the position of the baby’s head decides the progress of the baby and the possibility of station pregnancy.

Note: While station pregnancy, the fetal station is at +4 to +5 showing the birth (delivery) of the baby is very near.

So if we say that baby has moved from zero station to +1, it means the baby has moved about 1 centimeter and it shows the possible chances of station pregnancy.

If the baby is not progressing through cervix then a doctor might need to undertake cesarean delivery.

Fetal Station Definition

There are a lot of different terms which every mother will get to listen to the doctor. To describe the progress of the baby through the birth canal, different terms will be used by the doctor and one of them is station pregnancy.

Basically, fetal station tells us how far baby’s head has come into the pelvis. The fetal station is determined by examination of the cervix and finding the lowest part of the baby in the pelvis.

A number is assigned from -5 to +5 as it describes where your baby’s head is located. The numbers tell the position of baby’s head in pelvis via centimeters.

In the figure (under baby station chart), you can see an imaginary line, if a baby’s head is above that line then it is called unengaged and it can be measured from -5 to -1 (centimeters).

If the baby’s head is higher than -5 stations then it is called as floating. When the baby’s head (top of the head) reaches the 0 stations, it is called engaged.

When the baby’s head moves from the narrowest part of the pelvis when it is measured from +1 to +5 (centimeter).

Fetal station helps the doctor in the evaluation of the progress of labor. It helps in evaluating that how much the cervix has enlarged, either it is ready for the baby to pass or it is thin for promoting delivery.

Birth Stations

Birth stations and the fetal station is same. In birth stations, we can see the progress of the child and also the method of delivery which will be used later on.

If the baby’s head is in the right position and reaching the birth stations properly then it shows that station pregnancy will be done. Then other methods like usage of vacuum or cesarean delivery will opt.

Baby or Fetal Station Chart

Fetal station chart is given below which shows the meaning of figures which doctors say while measuring the progress of the baby.

The fetal station is measured on a scale from -5 to +5.

-5 to 0 When the baby’s head is above ischial spines (narrowest part of the pelvis).
0 station


It means the baby’s head is engaged. It has touched the narrowest part of the pelvis.
0 to +5


Positive numbers are used to tell the progress of the child when the baby’s head has crossed the ischial spines. During the birth of a baby, the fetal station is at +4 to +5 station.


Stations In Labor Delivery

First stage or station in labor delivery:

Stations in labor delivery start with the first one which lasts up to 20 hours which is the longest time period for stations in labor delivery.

Pain starts when the cervix starts to open and it ends with the proper opening of the cervix i.e. when it completely open at 10cm.

While the cervix is at 3 or 4 cm of scale then contractions get stronger with the time passes by.

Contractions get increased with time, in the beginning, mild contractions will be felt and they will last up to 90 seconds.

In the last part you may have stronger contractions and bleeding from the vagina will increase.

Second stage/ station of labor:

In the second stage, when the cervix is fully opened that means it is 10cm wide or 100% effaced.

At this stage, contractions become stronger and this period lasts for up to two hours until the child delivery.

A strong push will be felt inside and you will feel the urge to push with your contractions but try to rest as much as you can and push only when doctor ask you to do.

Third stage or station of labor:

The third station is when the baby is born, this stage is called ‘after birth stage’ where the labor is felt from a few minutes to 20 minutes but this is the shortest stage of labor.  Less painful contractions are felt.

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