How long will my labor take?

During labor, there are factors that can either speed up the process or slow it down a bit. It can take from an hour to even 24 until you hold your little one in your arms. Normally labor’s a bit longer for first-time moms since your cervix and birth canal (vagina) is less flexible than those who already had a baby. But of course, everyone is different and the factors we mentioned before do play a role.

The Mayo Clinic recognizes three stages of labor. First, the uterus opens the cervix to allow your baby’s descent. The second stage consists of pushing and finally there’s the delivery itself of the baby and the placenta. The factors that affect your labor’s progress are present during the three stages:

• Baby’s position. The best position for your baby (and your labor) is for her to be head down, with her back against your belly, facing your back. But, even if your baby is positioned correctly, one wrong move through the canal and she may reach an awkward position slowing down the process.
• Mom’s cervix. Both effacement and dilatation play a role and ultimately will allow your baby to flow through the birth canal. Effacement means that your cervix stretches and gets thinner as your baby’s head puts pressure on your pelvis. Dilatation refers to the opening of the cervix itself and is commonly measured in centimeters (10 being the maximum). Your cervix must be completely dilated in order to begin pushing.
• Mom’s physical and mental state. When you’re feeling well and rested you have more strength to get through labor. Likewise, the right stress-management exercises and breathing techniques can help ease the labor work because you will feel more relaxed and with a positive outlook on the situation. The more peace of mind and calm you feel, the better.

Afterwards, it’s time to celebrate! You finally get to meet that little person you carried around for nine months. Enjoy bonding with your newborn and get ready for days full of fun activities using Kinedu.

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