Established Labour – Stage 1

Hello everyone, I am back with more interesting gists. We started a series on labour and delivery on our last episode. We examined the latent stage of labour. Today we are taking a look at the first stage of what we call established labour. Remember I told you the latent stage is not really part the labour stage. It’s just like a prelude to the actual labour stage 

Established labour is when your cervix has dilated to about 4cm and your contractions are stronger and more regular.

When should you contact a midwife?

Call your midwife or maternity unit if:

  • your contractions are regular (every 5 minutes) and last at least 60 seconds.

  • your waters break

  • your contractions are very strong and you feel like you need pain relief

  • you’re worried about anything

If you go into hospital before your labour has become established, they may suggest you go home again for a while.

Once labour is established, your midwife will check on you from time to time to see how you’re progressing and offer you support, including pain relief if you need it.

You can either walk around or get into a position that feels comfortable to labour in.

Your midwife will offer you regular vaginal examinations to see how your labour is progressing. If you do not want to have these, you do not have to – your midwife can discuss with you why she’s offering them.

Your cervix needs to open about 10cm for your baby to pass through it. This is what’s called being fully dilated.

In a 1st pregnancy, the time from the start of established labour to being fully dilated is usually 8 to 18 hours. It’s often quicker (around 5 to 12 hours), in a 2nd or 3rd pregnancy.

When you reach the end of the 1st stage of labour, you may feel an urge to push.

Let’s stop here Today. Next time ,we’ll examine stage 2 of labour. Bye for nw.

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