It’s not unusual for an exhausted mom in labor (or an exhausted birth partner) to ask, “How much LONGER is it going to be?” Or sometimes the mom asks, “How far along am I?” This question is usually asked when the mom has been in labor for awhile and is doubting her ability to handle one more contraction. She hopes to be reassured that she will soon be pushing her little one out into the world. While the dynamic of labor patterns can fluctuate from woman to woman and from birth to birth, there are some tried and true indicators that give us a pretty good idea of how quickly labor is progressing at that point and how soon the mom may be fully dilated and ready to push. Understanding these signs is very helpful, whether you are supporting a mom in labor or whether you are preparing for your own labor and birth. In the article “How Much Longer Will It Be?” I’ll share 5 physical/emotional signs that indicate that first stage labor (the dilating phase) will likely soon be over and the second stage of labor (the pushing stage) will soon begin. The indicators I’ll share with you are: Contraction Pattern + Mom’s Emotional Signs, Change in Contractions, Bulge of Muscles in Low Back, Rising of Belly Towards the Bra Line and The Purple Line. I hope you find this helpful in understanding your labor or supporting a woman in labor.
- Hi! My name is Julie and I've been a natural childbirth instructor since 1985. I'm also certified as a birth doula, a lactation counselor and a perinatal fitness instructor. Please click on About JuJu for more info. Thanks!
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To my readers:I write and educate about pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum and breastfeeding, but I am not a medical professional. I'm a professional childbirth instructor, doula and breastfeeding counselor who has worked with pregnant women and new families for almost 30 years. I constantly strive to stay on top of the latest research and information in these fields, but I urge you to make your pregnancy, labor and birth decisions based on your personal research and in partnership with your health care provider.