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As labour goes on, contractions last longer and come more often.

This is the strong, active phase of labour. Contractions in strong labour open your cervix more rapidly, ready for your baby to pass through. You probably will not be able to talk through these contractions, or make eye contact or even smile at people. You will have to stop what you are doing, curl up or kneel down and focus completely on coping with the contraction. Each one may leave you sweating and you may find you make loud groaning noises through the contraction.

Contractions may come as often as every 3 to 4 minutes and last 60 to 90 seconds. Between contractions, move around to get comfortable, have a cool drink, and talk to those around you.

Listen to your body and try different positions to stay comfortable.

Pass water often.

If you can, have a wash with warm, clean, safe water, or even take a warm shower or bath to ease the pain.

02 April 2015