The first stage of labour is defined as the period of time from established labour to transition. Lasting anywhere from a few to many hours, during the first stage of labour your cervix will progressively dilate in preparation for your baby to pass through into the birth canal during the second stage of labour. Are you wondering how you will know you are in labour? Perhaps you are overdue and attempting to bring on labour by sheer force of will! Do you wonder what preterm labour is and what will happen if your baby decides to arrive early? This section explores the first stage of labour in its many presentations.