Parent Time

Intoduction to the Four Stages of Labor

If you have ever tried to remove a dried garbanzo bean from a child's nostril, you have approximated the experience of labor and childbirth. The principles at least are the same: something relatively large must be removed from something relatively small, preferably with as little discomfort as possible. In the history of mankind, the mystery of childbirth remains second only to the mystery of why children of why children put things up their noses. At least we know how babies get in there in the first place: when you ask a child, "Why did you put Mommy's earring up your nose?" the answer is invariably (usually wailing), "I don't knooow!"

But, like the earring, the baby, once placed firmly in your uterus, will one day need to be express-delivered into the world. The stork has flown to Aruba and the cabbage patch never had a cradle: you will have to do the work yourself, as any modern woman would expect. Reading up helps you understand what to expect, and research shows that, when we know what's coming, we tend to feel more in control. When we feel in control, we are less likely to feel pain or panic. So, in the interest of keeping you in the driver's seat, we present...

Stages of Labor Sections of Interest


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