When you start going into labor, you know that the end is near, but sometimes those last few hours can feel like days. You’ll know that pregnancy labor is speeding up when you enter the “transition” phase–that short period between active labor and pushing. Though it may seem unbearable at the time, realize that it’s almost time for you to meet the newest member of your family.
When your cervix becomes dilated to 10 centimeters (cm), you begin to enter the transition phase of labor. This means you are getting ready to push your baby out. You will not be able to see this for yourself. A doctor, nurse or midwife will check your dilation.
During the transition phase, your contractions will become much stronger and more frequent. They may last more than a minute; you will have little time between contractions. If you have been handling contractions well during the initial and active parts of your labor, you may find that this part is more difficult. It may seem as though it’s too much to bear; you probably, however, don’t have enough time for the pain medicine to take effect, so try to push through it.
Nausea and Vomiting
You may feel sick to your stomach and start to vomit. If you didn’t eat much food before you went into labor or have been laboring a long time, you may experience dry heaves.
Hot and Cold Flashes
Some women experience hot and cold flashes during transition, similar to the way that you might feel if you have a fever. This can contribute to your inability to get comfortable. You may have excessive sweating during the hot flashes, which will make you colder during the cold ones.
Not only might you become physically exhausted during transition, you may become mentally exhausted as well. You cannot get comfortable. The pain is increasing, which may cause you to feel like you do not have the strength to go through labor, even if you have been doing well up until that point.
- the newborn image by Sergey Galushko from Fotolia.com