Normal labor refers to the presence of regular uterine contractions that cause progressive dilation and effacement of the cervix and fetal descent. It is viewed in terms of its phases: latent, active, and decelerative; and its stages: first, second, and third.
The latent phase of labor will be reviewed here. Other aspects of labor and labor abnormalities are discussed separately:
●(See "Mechanism of normal labor and delivery".)
●(See "Overview of normal labor and protraction and arrest disorders".)
●(See "Management of normal labor and delivery".)