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You may have a birth plan, your bag packed with your own toothbrush, bathroom amenities, and a pair of comfy pants… but what does delivery really look like? If you are similar to most women, you may have begun looking at birthing videos two weeks before your due date. Although every birth is unique, it can be comforting to get a glimpse of what to expect when it’s finally time for your delivery.

You may begin labor at work, at home, at a grocery store, or at the library. You may feel pain at the lower part of your back, and as it intensifies, you will begin to feel contractions move around to your front. Once your contractions reach a pace where they are becoming more frequent and closer together, you can be sure that you are in labor, not dealing with those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions that have been preparing you for the real deal!

Remember the 411 rule: contractions are four minutes apart, one minute each, for one hour. At this point, you should get to the hospital! Make sure you call your doctor and let him or her know that you are in labor. They may have further instruction for you.

Once you get to the hospital, you will be admitted, monitored, and a team will be on hand to help proceed with your birthing experience.

The fact of the matter is, your body was made for this! You may have an idea of what the birthing process is like, but there’s more than one for you to meet your new addition.

For more information, please visit americanpregnancy.org’s page on the first stage of labor.