‘Transition’ describes the period of time between the late first stage of labour and the onset of the second, or pushing, stage of labour. The contractions are usually at their strongest and most frequent at this point. Transition can last any length of time from a few minutes to an hour or more, or even not at all.
The transition period is often characterised by a woman feeling exhausted, fed up, unable to cope, shaky or nauseous. In films and books, this is often the time when a woman will swear and get a bit mad with her partner! It is usually around this time that the first feelings of needing to push begin.
If you experience any of the unpleasant symptoms of transition, try to focus on the fact that your baby will soon be born. Remember to keep your breathing pattern slow and regular, and focus on your partner and midwife for support. 1