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Going into labour

The three stages of labour

  • First stage: Contractions start, getting closer together and more intense as time goes by. During this stage the cervix progressively opens
  • Second stage: Once the cervix is 10cm dilated, the baby can be pushed out
  • Third stage: The placenta comes away after the baby is born

Signs that it's time to call Origins

  • Low backache or low pelvic cramps (like period pain) that come and go regularly
  • You may have a 'show' – thick mucous from the vagina, sometimes blood-streaked
  • Contractions become increasingly painful. They gradually become longer, stronger and closer together
  • Your waters may break – either as a gush or as a constant trickle of watery fluid from the vagina

Other warning signs we need to know about

  • Any vaginal bleeding
  • Unusual headaches, unexplained vomiting, visual disturbances
  • Your baby's movements are reduced
  • You have abdominal pain that is constant, or your tummy is very sore or tender to touch in one area
  • You feel unwell