Second Stage Of Labor: Advanced Contractions

Stage two labor begins when the contractions become stronger and more frequent (possibly every 3 minutes apart) which in most cases occur within a hour after your water breaks or has been broken. Stage two isn't as long as stage one but it can last anywhere from five to ten hours and ends when your baby is delivered. From the time that your water breaks it can take one to three hours (rarely more) before you reach 4 centimeters dilated and a epidural can be administered. Until then there are a number of things you can do to pass the time. You can watch t.v., sleep if possible, read What To Expect When You're Expecting to see what is ahead after delivery. Bring a printed copy of my Labor Delivery section and What To Expect After Deliver if available or read What To Expect The First Year which provides excellent information on how to care for baby after he/she is born.

If reading, watching t.v., or resting isn't something you want to do having your partner give you a message may help, a good card game or finding a name for baby may help as well to pass the time.


The best thing you can do to get through strong contractions is once the contraction starts try to relax as much as possible and try to take deep breaths in and slowly breath out. Doing this through the contractions can decrease the intensity of the contraction. Asking your partner to give you a message during the contraction may also help as well. I found that relaxing the muscles during the contraction decreases the intensity while becoming stressed and tense can increase the intensity causing the contraction to become more painful.