From the First Contraction to the Final Push: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Labor

(18 Photos)

Jennifer L.W. Fink on Mar 16, 2011 at 5:38PM

chime in now
  • 4 of 18

From the First Contraction to the Final Push: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Labor

Getty

    Loading slides...

Open Up

The Stage: First stage

You'll know you're in it because: There's blood on the toilet paper when you wipe, or you notice blood-streaked mucus on your panties. "When the cervix starts to open, tiny little blood vessels break," Nicholson explains. "So-called 'bloody show' is a definite sign that the cervix is starting to dilate." While you might notice a little blood-tinged mucus when you lose your mucus plug, bloody show during labor is more constant, and the amount of discharge increases as your labor progresses.

How long it lasts: Throughout the first stage

How to deal: Call your care provider and describe your discharge. When did it start? What does it look like? You may or may not have contractions at this point. It's OK to wear a pantyliner, but you shouldn't need a pad to absorb the flow.

Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web