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Q: How long does labor last, and will I feel pain the whole time?
A: Much of labor is spent in "early labor". During this phase, it is best to be at home where you can walk, sleep, or snack. During active labor, contractions become regular and painful, and the cervix dilates. Normal dilation during active labor for a first-time mom should progress a minimum of 1 centimeter per hour; with pushing time, that's 6 - 12 hours.
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