What are the signs that the baby is ready to be born?

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This article explains the basic flow of childbirth, from the beginning through labor and delivery to meet your baby. We will also tell you how long it generally takes to deliver a baby, although it varies greatly from person to person, from “it took all day and night” to “I went to the hospital and the baby was born within an hour.”

You should also be aware of the warning signs that can indicate possible problems during pregnancy.

Have I started having labor? When should I go to the hospital?

When labor begins, you will need to go to the hospital for the delivery.

The timing of when to go depends on the medical institution, but the general rule is that first-time mothers should go to the hospital when their labor is less than 10 minutes apart, and second-time mothers should go to the hospital when they are less than 15 minutes apart.

If you experience regular abdominal pain or tension, use a labor app or watch to measure the interval.

The flow of childbirth; The first stage of labor to the third stage

In medical terms, labor is considered to have started when the interval between labor is 10 minutes or less, or when there are more than 6 laborers per hour.

Let’s take a look at the process from the start of labor until you meet your baby.

The first stage of labor

This is the stage from the onset of labors 10 minutes apart until the uterine cervix is fully opened (10 cm). This is the most time-consuming stage, taking an average of 10 to 12 hours for first-time mothers and 5 to 6 hours for multigravida.

As the uterus opens fully, the labor pains become stronger and shorter. When the cervix opens to about 4 cm, the labors become more intense and you will feel more pain. When the cervix opens to about 8 cm, you will feel the urge to push every time you have labor pain.

However, you still have to be patient. You will not be able to push until your uterus is fully open.

The second stage of labor

When your uterus is fully opened, you are almost ready to meet your baby. This is the second stage of labor, where the mother pushes through the labor to bring the baby into the world.

The average duration of labor is two to three hours for first-time mothers and 30 minutes to one hour for multigravida. The interval between labor will be every one to two minutes, and the pain will be intense and last for about 60 seconds.

However, you may forget about the pain as you struggle to push as hard as you can with the labor. There are also cases where a perineal incision is made or the belly is pushed to make it easier for the baby to come out. All of this will be done by the doctor or midwife based on their best judgment, so please feel free to leave it to them.

The third stage of childbirth

The third stage of labor and delivery is when the baby is born and the placenta comes out. The average duration of labor is about 5 minutes. After the baby is born, the labor that had subsided begins again, and the placenta that had been removed from the uterus comes out.

However, the labor pains are not as strong as when the baby comes out but are less, so most mothers will not feel any pain. For mothers who have had a perineal incision, sutures will be done after making sure the placenta comes out safely.

Most of the time, local anesthesia is used, so the pain is minimal, but it is not uncommon for anesthesia to be ineffective in the perineum after childbirth. Some mothers say that the suturing of the perineal incision was the most painful part of the birth process.

What are the signs of childbirth?

Although you never know when your baby is going to be born, strong labor pains do not come out of anywhere.

In most cases, the following signs will appear when the birth is approaching. If you see any of these signs, you should be aware that you are about to give birth and prepare for hospitalization as instructed by the hospital.

Bloody show

As the name suggests, it is a sign of childbirth. It is a pale pink to slightly brown discharge made up of the blood that is produced when the egg membrane surrounding the baby detaches from the wall of the uterus.

It is a sign that the baby is on the way down, and delivery usually begins within a week. However, there are some mothers who have had no bloody shows at all, and others who have had bloody shows that lasted for about 10 days, so it should only be considered as a rough guide.

Prodromal labor

At around 32 weeks, the uterus will begin to experience mild contractions in preparation for delivery. More and more mothers will feel a slight tensing of the abdomen.

As you get closer to delivery, the frequency of labor will increase. It is not uncommon to experience lower abdominal pain, similar to menstrual cramps, as well as stomach cramps.

Some mothers may make a mistake thinking that these labor pains are for real labor and rush to the hospital. However, the real labor becomes shorter and shorter, while prodromal labor is characterized by irregular pain intervals that gradually increase and disappear.

If you are in full-term labor and feel pain or tension in your abdomen, it is best to lie down and measure the time between labor pains.


When you see the bloody show, you don’t need to hurry but relax to prepare for going to the hospital. Once you know the process of delivery, you may feel calm to be ready.

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