From that first contraction to the final push, here’s a summary of what to expect during labour and delivery.
Your cervix will open to about 10 centimetres. Your contractions may slow down a bit, coming 2 to 5 minutes apart. During these contractions, you’ll be asked to take a deep breath and bear down to help push the baby out. It helps to take two deep breaths after a contraction and relax until the next one comes. After the baby’s head is delivered you’ll be asked to pause in your pushing for 15 to 30 seconds. If needed a small cut (an episiotomy) will be made to widen the vagina as the baby is being born. It prevents tearing of the opening. After the baby is born, the cut is closed with stitches. If you have not had any numbing medicine during labour, you will get it before the stitches are put in.