How Long Is the Transition Phase?

Once I'm in the transition phase, how much longer will it be?
profile picture of Robert Wool, MD
ByRobert Wool, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
Feb 2017
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The transition phase, usually defined as the time your cervix dilates at about 7 centimeters to when it’s fully dilated at about 10 centimeters, is considered the most challenging. But the good news is it’s also the shortest.

The length of transition depends on a variety of factors, but it can typically last about 30 minutes to two hours. Of course, for some moms-to-be, this can feel like an eternity. Contractions here last longer (60-90 seconds) and come quickly (every 30 seconds to two minutes) although they can also overlap (seems unfair!).

Your doctor or health care practitioner will tell you when it’s time to push and time to rest. But the good news is that once you get through transition, it won’t be too much longer until you’ve delivered and can welcome your baby to the world.

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