The stages of childbirth

Photo: Caroline Nicolas

Throughout labour your body undergoes changes to allow your baby to make his way to the world outside. Childbirth is divided into these three main stages:

First stage: Thinning and opening of the cervix (also called dilation)
Second stage: Descent and birth of your baby
Third stage: Delivery of the placenta

It isn’t possible to predict the length of each stage because it varies from one delivery to the next.

Labour: Process by which the baby passes from the uterus to the outside world, primarily through contractions of the uterus.