This is the second phase, of the first stage of labor. It begins when your cervix is dilated to about 4 cm and ends when your dilated to about 7 cm.
“Birth is not only about making babies. It’s about making mothers- strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and believe in their inner strength.” –Barbara Katz Rothman
- During this phase your cervix is going to dilate from about 4 cm to about 7cm.
- Your contractions are more regular lasting about 60 seconds, and around 3-5 minutes apart. You will feel the contractions increasing in intensity.
- At this point the 5-1-1 or 4-1-1 rule will definitely come into play, you may already be on your way to the hospital.
- Your cervix is still softening, thinning, and dilating.
What to expect:
- Due to the change in your hormone levels you may experience nausea, and get the chills, even though you are not actually cold.
- Your legs may start to cramp up.
- You may experience lower back pain.
- Your care provider will do at least one vaginal exam and access your Bishop Score.
How to cope/ What to do:
- Various comfort measures:
- Counter pressure
- Changing positions
- Taking a shower or a bath
- Allow yourself to relax during contractions
- Stay hydrated.
- You will start needing some additional emotional support as well as physical support.
For the birth partner:
- Allow them to remain focused, no more than yes or no questions
- Match their mood
- Help with various comfort measures.
- If you have a Doula you can help them provide comfort.
Photo: The Midwife by Adrian Baker