As you near the end of your expecting months, you might not know what to expect during labour. Before you actually go through the process, it is better to have a clear understanding regarding the changes that happen in your body.
However, labour pain like al other pain are subjective and is experienced differently by different women. Labour relates to a sequence of events that normally happens one after the other. It starts with the opening up of the cervix and ends with the arrival of the baby and the afterbirths. It can generally be divided into four phases.
In the first stage, labour commences with the onset of true pain caused by uterine contractions. As a result, the cervix gets opened up gradually. The opening of the cervix is measured in centimetres. When fully dilated, the cervix will be roughly ten centimetres in diameter, thereby providing enough space for the foetal head of approximately 9.5 centimetres to pass through.
The initial phase of the first stage is that of comparatively slower contractions. Once the cervix dilation reaches three centimetres, intensity and frequency of contractions is at a faster pace and the pain also increases. The duration of these contractions is usually found to be shorter in women who have delivered previously. The stage of fast contractions might last up to eight hours.