By Judith A. Lothian, PhD, RN, LCCE, FACCE, and Kathryn McGrath, MW, LSW, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE
Think of this as your “childbirth manual,” a step-by-step guide to prepare you for what lies ahead. We’ve divided the process into stages to describe the typical changes that occur as labor progresses. The first stage encompasses the very beginning of labor, when contractions begin, all the way through active labor, when your cervix is almost fully dilated. The second stage covers transition, when your body shifts from dilating to pushing, and the movement of your baby through the birth canal and into the world. Finally, there’s the third stage, when all of your hard work is done and your body begins to recover. You will most likely move from one stage to another fairly seamlessly. Although every labor and childbirth is unique—yours will unfold in its own way—the process is remarkably constant.
A Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator is your trusted partner for one of the most important journeys of your life.
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