Most likely you will need to focus during your contractions. This is when you can use your relaxation skills, your comfort skills and your coping skills. Some labor positions might feel better than others. You may also consider the use of water as a comfort measure. Your partner and/or doula can also be of help, even in the home setting before going to the birth center or hospital.
Many doctors and midwives advise that at some point during this stage of labor is when the majority of women should think about moving to a hospital or birth center if you are not planning a home birth. Some practitioners use the 4-1-1 rule. That is contractions that are 4 minutes apart, 1 minute in length and continuing for over an hour. Obviously there are some women who know that they need to go to the hospital or birth center sooner, sometimes because they can just tell, sometimes because they have a history of faster labors or because they require certain treatments or medications, like antibiotics.