Stages of Labor
Your body starts preparing itself to deliver weeks before labor actually happens. Your baby's head moves into your pelvis, which is a process known as engagement.
Labor has multiple stages, the first of which is marked by the onset of contractions and ends with transition. The first stage is the shortest but often the most intense stage of labor.
This is followed by active labor, when the cervix dilates more rapidly and contractions are longer, closer together and more intense. This stage is often referred to as the "pushing" phase, and coincides with the full dilation of your cervix. This is also the stage of labor when birth crowning occurs.