Transition is the last phase of the first stage of labour. This is usually the shortest and the most intense part of labour.

What’s happening?

  • The baby descends farther into the pelvis, with the top of the baby’s head becoming even with the ischial spines
  • The baby’s descent puts pressure on your rectal area
  • The cervix completes dilating
  • Every contraction makes a difference
  • Four to five contractions come in ten minutes, with each contraction lasting 70-90 seconds
  • The bags of water often break during or at the end of this phase
  • Your body is working very efficiently and with tremendous effort during each contraction
  • The contractions reach their maximum intensity at the beginning of this phase

Prepared by: Childbirth Education Curriculum Project Ad Hoc Committee
Approved by: BC Women’s Family Education Advisory Committee