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3 Signs You’re Really in Labor!

Going through childbirth is a lot like life: Despite the many surprises or hurdles thrown your way, you can feel confident, empowered, and capable of creating a positive experience if you’re flexible with all the things you can’t control and stay present to the moment—and have a killer community.

And if you’re like me—that is, someone who didn’t understand this before birth and parenthood—well, you’re in for a glorious journey.

Still…as a first-time parent preparing for birth, you might have a few practical questions about what the stages of labor and delivery are like.

Here’s the secret: Ask any repeat parent and they’ll tell you, “No one ever told me that ‘when you know, you know’ describes active labor just as much as finding true love.”

While you’re waiting for labor to begin, attempting to differentiate between Braxton Hicks, a growing baby, and contractions, let this be your takeaway: If you’re questioning what is going on in your body (how strong is this contraction? Is this it?! How many contractions have I had?), it’s likely not active labor. But if you can't tell what's going on, because let's be real, it's hard to know the difference the first time around, it's always best to reach out to your provider!

If you’re looking to learn more about the stages of labor, how to find the best childbirth classes online, tips for a natural birth (scratch that, no form of birth is unnatural. But I will share tips to have an unmedicated birth), or stories of women giving birth, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are top questions from first-time women giving birth about what to expect from the stages of labor: