There are three stages of giving birth…
Stage 1 - Labor
This stage begins when you have regular contractions that open (dilate) your cervix. This stage lasts until the cervix is fully opened to ten centimeters. This stage can occur over several days with no noticeable contractions or it can happen in just a few hours with very clear contractions. It's different for every woman.
Stage 2 - Pushing and delivery
This stage begins when the cervix is fully open and ends with the baby's birth. This stage usually lasts one to two hours, but many women have shorter or longer experiences. It's different for every woman.
Stage 3 - Delivery of the placenta
This stage begins immediately after the baby's birth and ends with the delivery of the placenta. This stage usually lasts between ten minutes and one hour.
Can I schedule my baby's birth?
A baby needs time to grow strong and healthy before being born. Experts are learning that scheduling a C-section or induction early for non-medical reasons can cause problems for mom and baby. Therefore, if your pregnancy is healthy, it's best to wait until at least 39 weeks to have your baby.