15 answers

Do Labors Really Get Shorter?

Hi Mamas,

I am wondering what other's experience is with the whole "next time around your labor will be much shorter". I only experienced about an hour difference in mine, and I've delivered 3 full term babies so far. My last baby though seemed to go faster because by the time I finally believed that I was in labor, it only took 2 hours from that point. (If I count from the 1st contraction that I felt, it was 9 hours). I just could not believe that I was in real labor, and I kept expecting the contractions to peter out-my 2 previous labors were inductions, so I had no idea what it felt like for labor to start on its own. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was much less intense throughout, that is until transition lol! I just keep wondering if this labor is going to be the same as my last, perhaps faster? And will I doubt that I;m in labor again? I thought the more babies you had, the more confident you feel, but I'm just the opposite! I am due on 6-21, and I am just waiting. Any stories will be appreciated. Love to hear other moms experience!


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Featured Answers

I have 2 children. One was induced, the other was spontaneous labor. Hard to compare the two. However, my second delivery was much, much quicker. HTH!

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More Answers

Yes they do get shorter. The problem is, you can not compare an induction with spontanous labor. That is comparing apples to oranges. So yes they do get shorter compared to the first if both were natural spontanous labor and it has been 6 years or less between pregnancies. The biggest shortening of time is the pushing stages. A first time mom usually has to push 1-3 hours. A lady who has had a VAGINAL delivery before pushes 2 pushes to 1 hour. Also transition is pretty quick if a lady has gone through it before. Your receptors remember the hormones and what your body is suppose to be doing. With first time moms, the body has to figure it out. In general, we usually shave off 2-6 hours of labor if it was spontanous labor and I have already explained the pushing time decrease that affects all labor. Congrats on your growing family.

3 moms found this helpful

I only have one..but my mother was the complete opposite of the norm. I was first and she said she did not realize she was in labor until her water broke and I was here 90 minutes later. She barely made it to hospital delivery room. My brother was next and was 12 hours from start to finish. My last brother was third and final and he took 18 hours from start to finish. So it seems that it goes faster for most, this shows that everyone/every pregnancy really is different. Wishing you a speedy and healthy delivery.

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest was 20 hours of labor that I knew as labor. There's a very good chance I was in labor the entire day before and I didn't realise it. :)

My youngest was a little less than 5 hours and I know exactly when labor started.

1 mom found this helpful

It's hard to compare how it would with a natural on-set vs. an induced labor. The "next time around" thing is applied to going into labor on your own since induction can just be a longer process anyway.
My 2nd was much quicker than my first. Had 4 hours of fairly easy, but consistent labor. All of a sudden my contractions went from 4min apart to 2 min, I felt light-headed and was soon in transition (I'd been in contact with my midwives all morning, called them after I had 2 that were 2min apart and they made it 20 minutes before baby was born. 2 pushes. It was a homebirth, not sure i would have made it to the hospital if that was the plan).
The first wasn't bad, but it was about 5 hours of active labor and 30min of pushing.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm in my 40's and had two healthy kids. My first took about 11.5 hours, start to finish (water broke first). My second took less then 2 hours, start to finish (my water broke first). I called my sister in law to come over when my water broke after just having got up to use the bathroom and getting back to sleep. I got everything ready to go and my hubby up. Then about 15 minutes later, my contractions were 6 minutes apart. There was no transition. I felt nothing before waters breaking and nothing for 15 minutes. It was almost too fast. My little guy didn't even get all of the fluids squeezed out of him on the way out. He practically shot out the shoot.

Hope yours isn't quite as short. On a good note, it was too fast to even notice that I was in horrible pain.
Good luck to you and remember that each is different.

1 mom found this helpful

I was induced with all three of mine and the first one was 14 hours the second was 12 and the third was only 6 so i do think they get faster and hopefully you will know when you are in labor again. Don't wait too long and be the woman who delivered in her car(not that there is anything wrong with that, but not ideal). :)

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, and what Michelle M. said.

Baby #1: water broke at home, 14 hours labor + 1 hour pushing
Baby #2: water broke at home, 3 hours of labor + 45 minutes waiting for the OB to show at the hospital + 3 pushes to get baby out
Baby #3: induction, but 3.5 hours start to finish; took about 30 minutes to push her out due to her having lots of hair!.

All three were vaginal deliveries. I wish you all the best!

1 mom found this helpful

K., My experience has been the opposite of all the general wisdom accounts. I've gotten later with each baby, for one thing (7 days "late", then 10 days, then 14!), and my labors haven't gotten shorter or easier, either! My first and second were pretty much a wash, and then I had a total of 3 days of on and off labor with my third, including one trip to the birth center only to be sent home, before she finally came. If I wouldn't have believed I was really in labor, and if I hadn't been 12 days late, perhaps I would have just let the contractions peter out on their own instead of trying to push myself into labor.

I've enjoyed each labor more, however, because each time my husband and I have gotten better at our chosen method of childbirth - the Bradley Method. I'm looking forward to delivering #4 at the end of August (actually, with my record it will probably be the middle of September!!) with his coaching. Each labor is going to be different, and I think the best you can do is to expect the unexpected! Blessings on this one!

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