Giving Birth: Stages of Labour

During labour, the muscles of the uterus contract and shorten, thereby opening and pulling up your cervix into the lower part of the uterus. This action pushes the baby further down in to your pelvis. At the same time baby’s head is pushing on your cervix and together these complex actions work to facilitate dilatation (the widening of the cervix) and the birth of your baby.

There are Three Stages of Labour

The first stage is divided into three phases. The first phase is the early or latent phase of labour. It’s also commonly described as pre-labour. During this phase your cervix begins to soften, move forward and efface (thin out).

Next is the active phase – when your cervix is dilating. Your contractions become more intense, more frequent and last longer.

The final phase in the first stage of labour is transition. At this point your cervix dilates from 8-10 centimetres and your contractions are generally coming every 2-3 minutes and are lasting 60-90 seconds.

The second stage of labour is the pushing phase and birth of your baby. You are now dilated to 10 centimetres. This is the stage of labour where you push your baby down the birth canal and you meet at last! This phase is really hard work and can take up to several hours.

The third stage of labour is the birth of the placenta. This stage can take 5-15 minutes and occasionally longer.

  • Caffeine During Pregnancy: How Much is Safe?

    Pregnant women have long been told to reduce their caffeine intake throughout the duration of their pregnancies. So, how much caffeine can I have per day? The current Australian guidelines for consumption of caffeine during pregnancy is 200mg per day. We recommend sticking to this amount or less when possible.

  • Who’s my Little Instababy? Parenting in a Digital World

    It is a fact of life that every parent is proud of their baby and believes their little person is the most beautiful in the world.  Social media has become the perfect platform to share the pride, but at what point does sharing and caring cross safety boundaries? And when does a little become too much?

  • Dental Care for Babies and Young Children

    We’ve always known that baby teeth are important. But now we understand even more about what we need to do to protect our children’s teeth. And why it’s essential that we do. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease.  In Australia - around 50% of children will have at least one hole in their teeth by the age of 5 years. But this can be largely prevented by following just a few simple steps.

  • Baby & Toddler Massage - Does it Really Help Sleep?

    Massage has a noble history relating to his benefits, not just for young children but for adults as well. Some cultures use massage as a routine part of their overall health and well-being, particularly Asian and African countries. For others, it is more of a strategy used for stress management and general relaxation. 

  • How to Calm a Crying Baby

    Learning how to calm a crying baby can feel like a draining, never-ending endeavour for a new parent. Sometimes there’s an easy fix: feeding, a burp, a nappy change… Other times it might feel like you’ve done everything in your power, but the baby just keeps on crying. If you can’t identify a reason for it, your baby might just be feeling overwhelmed, tired or upset. So, how to calm a crying baby in this situation?

Where are you in your journey?

All journeys are unique and exciting, so we have matched our courses to your current stage of pregnancy or parenting. Simply select where you're up to below.