First Stage of Labour, Effacement | FamilyEducation - FamilyEducation

First Stage of Labor

For your baby to be born the cervix (comprised of firm muscle that forms a strong base at the bottom of the uterus) needs to stretch and soften so that it can open, or dilate, and your baby can pass out of the uterus and into the vagina. Toward the end of pregnancy, substances in your blood called prostaglandins start to soften the cervix so that it becomes more malleable. Your baby also gets into "position" to make his way out.
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