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Birth Stage 2
This 3D medical animation demonstrates the second stage of labor. At the beginning of stage two of labor, which usually lasts from 20 minutes to 2 hours, your cervix is fully dilated to 10 centimeters, and your baby's head has moved beyond the cervical opening into your birth canal. In a normal delivery, your baby's head will rotate to face your back. Your doctor or midwife will instruct you to push during your contractions and rest between them. When the top of your baby’s head appears, or 'crowns,' your doctor may make a small cut, called an episiotomy, to enlarge the vaginal opening. Then, your doctor or midwife will give you instructions on how to push your baby out. As your baby’s head passes through the birth canal, it molds into an elongated shape. After your baby's head exits the birth canal, his or her head and shoulders will rotate to help the shoulders pass through the birth canal. Your baby’s shoulders are delivered one after the other in order to fit through your pelvis. Once the shoulders emerge, the rest of your baby slides out easily. After your baby is born, his or her umbilical cord will be cut. An elongated head shape will resolve itself within a few days as the skull bones shift back into place.