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Information on the Fourth Stage of Labour

August 8, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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mom in hospital bed holding her newborn baby

The fourth stage of labour is the first two or three hours after birth.

During this time you might experience tremors and chills, as well as discomfort from after-pains, episiotomy or tears, and hemorrhoids.  

You may also feel dizzy or faint if you stand up.


If possible, try to rest - recovering from the hard work of labour and birth takes time. If you're feeling well enough, you may wish to take a warm shower. Make sure you have someone nearby who can help you if you need support or start feeling dizzy or weak.

What to Expect During Fourth Stage Labour

  • Babies often breastfeed or nuzzle mother's breast. 
  • Fatigue from blood loss during labour.
  • Body shakes.
  • Difficulty peeing due to swelling.

Tips for you and your support person

  • Ask for more warm blankets as you need them.
  • Place an ice pack (wrapped in a towel) between your legs to decrease swelling in your perineal area.
  • Drink fluids and eat a light meal if you are hungry.
  • Ask for help to stand up.

 Breastfeeding


Resources and Links:

HealthLink BC: Labour and Delivery
HealthLink BC: Breastfeeding

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  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
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