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Labor with my daughter was 12 grueling hours. Doctors finally pulled her out via a vacuum extraction.
My son shot out like a rocket in one hour. My husband barely made it to the hospital.
How long will labor last with my third?
Every month when I have my prenatal appointment I ask my obgyn this question. Her answers are always vague.
She usually says something like, "You should be prepared for anything."
"But since the delivery was so fast with my son, can I expect an even faster birth with my third?" I'll press her for a more specific answer.
"Maybe," she'll say.
Of course, I'm hoping for a speedy delivery but I'm realizing that there's no way to tell what the length of my deliver will be. Labor with a subsequent children is known to go faster, especially if you have them two or three years after your last. Your body is a little more laxed. But I had my last child eight years ago? I assume my body has tightened back up.
I've spent a lot of time in the our site Community reading threads in which expecting moms share stories about the length of labor.
In this thread an expecting mom asks Community members if labor with their third was faster. I read through all 37 responses.
Many share stories of third babies popping out in under an hour. One mom writes: "My Mom had time to get to the hospital, IMMEDIATELY up to the delivery room, and the nurse had to come help with only one glove on or she'd missed my Sister! She was #3."
And many women wrote that labor sped up with each pregnancy. One mom shares: "All of my labors have been reduced by half or more. My first was over 48 hours (twins, early). My second was 14 hours. My third was 7 hours. My fourth was 2 hours."
And out of all the comments only one experienced a longer delivery. "It looks like I'm the only one who went the other direction," she wrote.
My conclusion: Nobody, even doctors, really knows whether labor will move more quickly with a subsequent child. The speed of labor depends on so many factors, size of the baby, your lifestyle during the pregnancy, your body type, your birth history. While it seems like things could go faster, it's best to take my ob's advice and "be prepared for anything."
How long was labor with your first, second, third...? Did things speed up with each subsequent child? What's the age spread between each of your children?
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.