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Stages of labor

Expansion phase

The dilation phase is the phase from the beginning of labor - that is, when it begins to dilate - until the dilation is complete, and corresponds to 10 centimeters. This phase is the longest of all and the woman may have her bag full of water (that is, it has not been broken) or it may already be broken. The dilation time may vary from woman to woman. It is usually slower in women who have not had a child before and in non-spontaneous (provoked) births. During the dilation, the midwife or gynecologist will monitor the progress of the birth by performing vaginal touches every two to four hours, or when needed.

Photographer © Mireia Navarro © Mireia Navarro








Expulsive phase

It starts when the uterus neck is fully dilated and the baby begins to descend through the birth canal, eventually leaving with the mother's help. The down time for this channel may vary from woman to woman, and is usually faster for women who have already had a childbirth.

During the expulsion, the woman feels a pressure in her lower back and a desire to push. The intensity of the pressure will depend on the use or not of anesthesia, and so the spasms may not be spontaneous but need to indicate when the woman is pushing.

The baby may only come out with the help of the mother, but may need help sometimes with instruments such as forceps or spatulas.
Also, during the departure of the baby, the mother's perineum can be injured, either the baby being the injured person, or because an episiotomy (an incision to help it come out) is necessary.


Delivering phase

The last phase of labor is the exit of the placenta; in order to facilitate it, the uterus makes non-painful contractions.

The placenta usually goes out on its own and the woman does not have to push, but the midwife or gynecologist will tell you if necessary.

After the exit of the placenta we end the birth and talk about postpartum.

Your midwife or gynecologist will check to make sure everything is correct and sew if there is an injury.