Since every birth is different, it is unpredictable how long early labor will last. For first-time moms, however, it can last for several days!
Next a woman goes into what is called active labor. Contractions at this point become stronger and more frequent. This is when things really intensify because the cervix has to dilate to 10 centimeters!
Once a woman's cervix is fully dilated, it's time to push. They push in between contractions and it can take as little as a few minutes or as long as a few hours for the baby to come out.
So that's the TL;DR version of vaginal childbirth. There's obviously more details that happen (like the birth of the placenta), but for the sake of this post – and the possibility of you losing your lunch – that's basically all you need to know.
Now it's time for a (non-graphic) visual! SVC Birth Center shared this photo of a newborn's head fitting through 10 centimeters:
In the pic, they used something called a dilation board that shows the size each centimeter looks when it is dilated.
After the photo was posted, it started getting shared by moms everywhere. Steffanie Christi'an shared it on Facebook saying, "This is what 10cm of dilation looks like. This is why we deserve all the things." It currently has over 185,000 shares.
It really made moms proud of what their bodies could do.
And definitely gave moms with "large-headed" children a laugh.
Moms just agreed that THEY DESERVE ALL THE THINGS!
Give yourself a pat on the back, moms. You did good.