Transition is the shortest stage of labor. It marks the complete dilation of your cervix. Typically only 10-60 minutes long, contractions are generally 70-90 seconds in length. They may also be irregular or double peak. Generally women only have between 5-10 transition contractions. Only 30% of women realize that they are going thru transition.

You will know that you have reached transition if you start feeling confused, unsure, scared or start doubting yourself. During transition the sensations can change greatly, the intensity and change can cause you to feel anxious and panicky, especially if you aren’t aware what is going on. You may start thinking that labor is too hard and that you can’t take it anymore. Don’t worry, this intensity indicates that you will soon be pushing your baby out!

You may also feel your baby shifting into alignment with your pelvis. There will be a lot of pressure down low. Other signs that you have reached transition include getting very shaky or sweaty all of a sudden. Some women get nauseous and a very few actually vomit. If your bag of waters hasn’t broken yet, it will likely break during transition. If you haven’t already lost your sense of modesty, you will when you hit transition.

How your Labor Assistant (Husband or Doula) Can Help

Transition is when you need your labor assistant the most. You need them to remind you that you are doing great. They should remind you that the intensity and quick changes are normal and that you will be holding your baby soon. They should keep you focused on the present, on this contraction, on staying relaxed. They should constantly reassure you and remind you what a great job you are doing.

Quick Links for more information

Birth Plan Template
Early Signs of Labor
Stages of Labor and Deliver
Early Stage of Labor
Active Labor
Pushing Stage
Delivery of the Placenta