Phase 2 of labour is called active labour. This phase lasts for about three to four hours on average. The contractions are stronger and more frequent during this phase. Try to keep your mind distracted using relaxation techniques, massage etc. Find a position you are most comfortable in. If you find you need some medications to help with the pain, talk to your doctor. The cervix normally dilates by 0.5cm to 1 cm per hour during the active phase. The cervix is dilated to 7 cm by the end of this phase. Your doctor may in some cases use oxytocin to speed up the labour progress. If you have opted to have an epidural, your labour may progress slower than normal.
Some typical symptoms of Phase 2 labour are:
Contractions that last for about 45 to 60 seconds each with about 3 to 4 minutes gap between them
Increasing back pain that is constant or during contractions
Your amniotic membrane may rupture, if it has not already done so.
You may experience all or some of these during Phase 2 of labour. Your doctor and hospital staff will start closely monitoring the progress of your labour from this phase.
What can I do during active labour?
Some things that you can do during Phase 2 are:
Consider having a warm water bath to ease labour pains. If your membranes have ruptured, you may take the bath after talking to your doctor.
Try to stay as relaxed as you can. Breathing exercises, massages etc. may help you.
Find a position you are most comfortable in. Some women find that walking helps.