Labor and Delivery | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

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.

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