Labor and Delivery

The more you know about labor and delivery, the more prepared and relaxed you’ll be when the day arrives. Norton Healthcare is committed to providing the necessary resources along with expert care, which is why more parents choose to deliver with us than any other hospital in the region.

Stages of Labor

Every childbirth experience is unique, and there’s no way to predict how your specific delivery is going to go. However, there are three general stages of the birth process. Here’s what to expect:

Early and active labor. During this stage, your cervix dilates (opens) and effaces (thins or stretches). Your contractions will feel mild and irregular at first, becoming stronger, closer together and regular as you progress. The length of the first stage of labor is unpredictable, lasting anywhere from a few hours to days.

The birth of your baby. This stage begins once the cervix is dilated to 10 centimeters and lasts until the baby is delivered. It can take from a few minutes up to a few hours or more to push your baby into the world.

Delivery of the placenta. After your baby is born, you’ll likely feel a sense of relief, but a lot is still happening. There will continue to be mild contractions, and you’ll be asked to push one more time to deliver the placenta. This process usually lasts from a few minutes up to an hour.

Talk With Your Provider

Because no two pregnancies or labors are alike, it’s important to discuss any questions or concerns with your provider. Below are a few common topics you should address before the big day.

  • How will I know I’m in labor?
  • What if I have preterm contractions?
  • When should I go to the hospital?

Norton Healthcare offers prenatal classes to help prepare you for childbirth and beyond.

Alternatives for pregnant women who use ranitidine — also known by the brand name Zantac

Pregnant women who use ranitidine — also known by the brand name Zantac — to relieve heartburn and acid reflux should stop taking the medication and consider alternatives, according to obstetricians with Norton Women’s Care. […]

Read Full Story

Pregnant? Here’s why you need a flu and whooping cough shot

Getting a flu shot is important for everyone, but it’s even more critical for women who are pregnant. The same is true for the whooping cough vaccine. Why? The vaccines help protect you and help […]

Read Full Story

Because pregnancy is not an illness, midwife avoids intervening

For Danielle Roberts, her job as a certified nurse midwife (CNM) is “a great marriage of Westernized medicine and holistic care.” “We see patients from their first prenatal appointment all the way through their delivery […]

Read Full Story

A midwife and mom passionate about giving women a say in their birth experiences

Regina Mash, CNM, knows what it’s like to be told, rather than asked how she wants to deliver her children. That’s one of many reasons the certified nurse midwife, whose four sons range in age […]

Read Full Story

More pregnant women have chronic high blood pressure

A new study shows a large increase in the number of American women with chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy: an average of 6% each year over the 40 years of the study. “High blood […]

Read Full Story
Related Stories

Alternatives for pregnant women who use ranitidine — also known by the brand name Zantac

Pregnant women who use ranitidine — also known by the brand name Zantac — to relieve heartburn and acid reflux should stop taking the medication and consider alternatives, according to obstetricians with Norton Women’s Care. […]

Read Full Story

Pregnant? Here’s why you need a flu and whooping cough shot

Getting a flu shot is important for everyone, but it’s even more critical for women who are pregnant. The same is true for the whooping cough vaccine. Why? The vaccines help protect you and help […]

Read Full Story

Because pregnancy is not an illness, midwife avoids intervening

For Danielle Roberts, her job as a certified nurse midwife (CNM) is “a great marriage of Westernized medicine and holistic care.” “We see patients from their first prenatal appointment all the way through their delivery […]

Read Full Story

A midwife and mom passionate about giving women a say in their birth experiences

Regina Mash, CNM, knows what it’s like to be told, rather than asked how she wants to deliver her children. That’s one of many reasons the certified nurse midwife, whose four sons range in age […]

Read Full Story

More pregnant women have chronic high blood pressure

A new study shows a large increase in the number of American women with chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy: an average of 6% each year over the 40 years of the study. “High blood […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.