Before the approach of childbirth, any woman is embraced by a variety of fears and worries. She thinks about how long the delivery lasts and how much this process is painful, worries about the baby’s health. In order to dispel all doubts and worries, you need to prepare in advance for the upcoming event and tune in only for positive.
The duration of childbirth usually depends on which they are. The more children you have, the faster, as a rule, the baby is born. There are also such concepts as rapid and protracted labor, which you also need to be prepared for, if necessary, agree to stimulation or cesarean section.
Remember that childbirth is an absolutely natural process and during pregnancy your body manages to fully prepare for it. Therefore, you should not be afraid of anything, it is better to tune in to an early meeting with the baby and follow all the doctor’s recommendations. Any birth takes place in several stages, the duration of which is individual for each, but nevertheless there is a certain time frame for them. Let’s find out how long they last.
Stages of labor
Stage №1 – fights
At this stage, the cervix should fully open up to 10-12 cm. This period is also divided in time into several intervals. The first woman may not even feel, it is called latent (early, hidden). Contractions at this time can be confused with training and they can be almost imperceptible. But if they increase and the gaps between them are gradually reduced, then even at 37-38 weeks this is an occasion to gather in the hospital.
The duration of this period depends on several factors:
- woman’s ability to relax;
- hormonal background of a pregnant woman;
- cervical preparedness.
The latent period usually lasts from 4 to 6 hours, but sometimes it can reach 12 hours. This period of time is best spent on the move. A woman can stand or walk slowly. But if she is very tired, then you can try to sleep, how much it will work out.
Contractions are usually not painful and occur after a considerable period of time, which gradually decreases. To open the neck faster, you need to regularly empty the bladder. And if suddenly at this stage you are not yet in the hospital, you should urgently go there.
In the active period of contractions, pain gradually increases, and the interval between them is less than 5 minutes. The fruit falls, the baby is almost ready to be born. This stage usually lasts from 4 to 8 hours and ends when the cervix is 10 cm wide.
You need to know that when applying epidural anesthesia, this period takes longer, and stimulants, on the contrary, accelerate the process. The main thing is that at the stage of active contractions a woman tries to relax and does not panic. The most painful is the opening from 8 to 10 cm, when the cervix is not yet ready to the end, and the attempts are already beginning. This time is best spent lying down, and in no case push. It can be from a few minutes to several hours. Depending on how many children you have.
Stage number 2 – attempts
So, the uterus opened by 10 cm and the most crucial moment begins – attempts. It will require a lot of strength and endurance from you. At this point, you should be fully focused, listen to the doctors and follow all their directions as much as possible. The intervals between contractions will become a little longer, which will provide an opportunity for rest. At the first birth, the baby will be born gradually and it is very important to listen to the advice of the midwife so as not to harm him.
Do not panic! The faster you calm down, the sooner the baby will be born. Attempts usually last from a few minutes to 1 hour, depending on the presence of stimulation and the order of delivery. Finally, you can meet your baby.
Stage number 3 – the birth of the afterbirth
This period can last from 10 to 30 minutes. Some time after the birth of the child, attempts again begin, which require significantly less effort, as a result of which the last is born. After which the child is first applied to the chest and all painful sensations are instantly forgotten.
Duration of first birth
First birth is always a very exciting event. A woman is very worried, because she does not know exactly what she has to go through. She asks herself a whole series of questions. How long does the first birth last? How to behave? How painful is this? In fact, there is nothing to worry about.
It was previously believed that the first birth should last no more than 24 hours. True, now these terms are slightly reduced. The doctors consider the period up to 18 hours a normal time for the birth of the first child. But on average they occur within 11-12 hours.
The total time is calculated from the moment of the start of contractions until the birth of the afterbirth. Fights usually last about 10 hours and at the initial stage can pass unnoticed by the expectant mother. The second stage takes no more than an hour and at its end a baby is born. Then comes the third, which lasts no more than 30 minutes and does not require special efforts from the woman in labor.
If the first birth occurs within 4-6 hours, then they are called fast. If the period is even shorter, then swift. But if their duration is more than 18 hours, then the birth is protracted. In this case, doctors usually resort to stimulation or decide on caesarean section.
How long does a second, third or subsequent birth
It would seem that once having given birth to a child, a woman no longer needs to worry about how the second birth will take place. She knows how to behave, remembers all the sensations and emotions. But still worried about her baby. Do not worry. The body is completely ready and already familiar with the process of labor, you just have to relax as much as possible and tune in for a quick acquaintance with the baby.
The second, third and subsequent births, as a rule, pass much faster than the first. The second birth occurs 2-3 hours faster. The norm for them is considered to be from 7 to 8 hours. In this case, fights usually last 6-7 hours, attempts last no more than 30 minutes, and the last is born 15 minutes later, after the birth of the baby.
Still others last even faster, like all subsequent ones. This is due to the fact that the cervix once experienced labor activity opens faster. Normally, the third birth lasts 6-7 hours, and sometimes less. At the same time, labor continues for 5-6 hours. Attempts can end in a few minutes, depending on the behavior of the woman in labor. The fact is that a child, as a rule, is not born gradually, but immediately. And the more a woman will listen to doctors and push properly, the faster a newborn will be born. The placenta is born in about 10 minutes.
If you are planning a second, third or subsequent birth, it is better to go to the hospital in advance. Because there is a risk that after the start of fights you may simply not have time to get to it.
What is the danger of prolonged labor?
Firstly, if the contractions last long enough, the woman is very tired. She loses her strength and panics. Because of what, the chances of giving birth on their own become less every hour.
Secondly, if the water flowed back in the first hours of labor, and the attempts did not begin for a long time, there is a risk of infection in the child. In this situation, the doctor is forced to prescribe antibiotics in order to maintain the health of the baby. Thirdly, if the baby is entangled in the umbilical cord, he experiences oxygen starvation and if the woman does not succeed in giving birth naturally, the doctors make a decision on the early completion of the birth and have a cesarean section.
What are the dangers of fast or swift labor?
Such childbirth threatens to injure the baby and the birth canal of the mother. Very strong contractions of the uterus, as it were, press the baby’s head into the birth canal, which can lead to damage to the fetal cervical spine. In addition, the soft and mobile bones of the child’s skull during rapid childbirth can move incorrectly, which will lead to the development of various deviations in the child.
As a result of a very fast delivery, the mother can get tears of the cervix and perineum of varying degrees, which the doctors will suture immediately after delivery. That in the first month after birth will bring a lot of inconvenience. In addition, serious gaps threaten significant blood loss, which can adversely affect the health of the mother.
In what cases is stimulation used in childbirth?
If the mother runs out of energy or labor is not strong enough to avoid complications, doctors have to resort to medication stimulation of labor. This decision largely depends on the condition of the woman, the conditions of the hospital, as well as the qualifications of the doctor conducting the birth.
With the introduction of stimulants, contractions become stronger and more painful, which leads to the need to use painkillers in childbirth. But there are such cases when it is impossible to do without stimulation. For example, if there is no labor after the discharge of water.
You should not be afraid of any of these situations. These are more of an exception than a rule. In most cases, both the first and subsequent births are normal for everyone. But you need to know these nuances in order to be prepared for the fact that at some point a medical intervention may be needed that will help keep you and your baby healthy. And no matter how long your birth lasts, the main thing is that they pass without complications and you finally see the desired baby.