Managing the transition phase of labour
The transition phase of labour is the last part of active labour and normally the most intense part of labour especially if there is a lack of knowledge when it comes to our bodies when birthing. The birthing mother’s body is making the transition from the opening of the cervix to the beginning of the baby’s descent. Often during this phase, the mother can feel the pressure of the baby’s head coming down, this is also sometimes accompanied by an urge to push.
This phase of labour only usually last between 15 minutes and one hour and often birthing mothers find it hard to cope physically and emotionally. Inside our Positive Birth Program we teach birthing parents coping strategies as well as prepare them with the knowledge to be aware of when the birthing mother is in this phase of labour.
Some common signs that you’re in the transition phase of labour include:
- Change in body heat (hot or cold)
- Possible nausea, vomiting
- Leg shakes
- Quivering in the upper body
- Mother expresses desire to stop, escape, leave
- Mother can start to doubt herself, say that she can’t do it or that she needs medication
- Purple line extending up between the butt cheeks
- Toes curling
So, how can you best manage this phase of labour?
During this phase of labour support from your birth partner makes all the difference. Your birth partner can provide you with loving support and belief, encourage birthing mother during this time, and tell her she is nearly there and these are all good signs.