Trying to Rush Into Labor Will Only Make It Take Longer

Mom Moment 18

labor and delivery roomYou know what's amazing about giving birth? The fact that we can. And we do. Every day. Birth is something women can do just like we can twiddle our thumbs. But imagine someone said you can't twiddle your thumbs anymore. Or that you were doing it wrong and you need help to twiddle. Even though you knew your thumbs were made for twiddling, you'd start to doubt your twiddling abilities.

Chances are you can twiddle your thumbs. And you can birth your baby. (Barring any complications which would result in a c-section, which, yes, is just another way to birth your baby.) But a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has revealed that we spend "much more time" in labor now than 50 years ago makes me think this is because we are rushing to go into labor, which leads to medical intervention and therefore a longer labor.

Are we doubting our birthing abilities because of everything we read, see, and hear? And in this fast paced world, we have no patience. And patience is key in child birth. Key in being a parent, too. So we rush to the hospital before it's time and labor stalls because we're not really ready and then the synthetics get pumped in and everything takes longer because mama and baby aren't ready. We wait ... wait ... wait in a hospital gown unable to eat anything. Waiting at home would be a lot nicer, especially if you don't need all those drugs pumped in.

More epidurals and more pitocin and more medical intervention are factors some experts feel make labor take about two hours longer nowadays. Is this a bad thing? Medical intervention saved me and my twins and it helps moms who need a little something to get through labor.

Other experts weren't so sure. Dr. Christian M. Pettker, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale, shared that this longer pattern of labor isn't bad because "neonatal survival is extraordinarily better" today than it was 50 years ago. 

On one hand I think we need to trust ourselves. Know that our due date is just a guess and not head to the hospital before it's really time, which could result in unnecessary induction, which could increase the chance of a c-section (and you probably don't want major surgery unless you really need it, right?). But when it comes to something as important as birth, with the scary thought of how to make the right decision, and with all the info we have out there, it makes sense that we are scared. Still, we need to trust birth. More trust and more faith in ourselves whether or not labor takes 10 hours or just 2. And the only way we are going to do that is with more awareness, more education so all pregnant women can be empowered. Because we can do this. It's one of the things women were born to do. So twiddle your thumbs, mama-to-be! Baby will come when baby is ready and you don't have to rush to the hospital only to be induced before it's really time. 

Why do you think labor takes longer today than it did 50 years ago?


Image via MammaLoves/Flickr

delivery, labor, labor & delivery


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MomLi... MomLily67

I think we are a more impatient society and want things NOW. And we are a lot more scared of things not "going right" at childbirht so we rusch ourselves to the hospitals. Our bodies know what to do, so we have to know how to listen. althought it is easier said than done!!

Melis... Melissa042807

We're used to being in control, told we should be in control, and we want what we want RIGHT NOW. I'm 3 weeks from my due date and about to go crazy between the heartburn and the pelvic pain, but I know the baby will come when it's time. I've heard nothing but miserable stories about induction, how much more painful it is and how long it takes compared to your average un-induced labor. And my labor with my first baby went FAST, so chances are this one will too. I just gotta be patient. Give that baby time to finish cooking!

Sirena Robinson

I can attest to inductions taking a long time and being more painful. I went from no contractions one minute, to intense contractions less than a minute apart the next. There was literally nothing in between. And after eight hours of the intense ones, my body was so tense from the pain that I had stopped dilating. It took twenty seven hours, the maximum dose of pitocin allowed in my hospital an epidural and manually breaking my water to get my daughter born. However, I was bartering with my OB over 15 minutes more every 15 minutes to keep from surgery because I'd had an emergency induction due to prolonged rupture and extremely low amniotic fluid levels, so it wasn't planned and wasn't frivolous. My daughter could have died if I hadn't been induced and given IV fluids.

MeAnd... MeAndTommyLee

Your body knows exactly what to do and when to do it.  I had 7 babies and my longest labour/delivery was 4 hours.  I was just soooo relaxed.  Never afraid or worried during the pregnancies, either.  Did all my `normal' routines and felt beautiful!  I must sound crazy.  It really was the most peaceful time in my life!  I loved being pregnant and guess I was in no hurry to evict them,  LOL

nonmember avatar blh

Uhh you're comparison to "twiddling your thumbs" and pushing a human being out of your body is pretty stupid. It is get hard and painful and plenty of women have trouble.

nonmember avatar Jessica

Didn't they use to "aid" pregnancy frequently by drugging women and using suction and forceps as standard practice? Did that "speed up" the process overall?

Both of our children were almost two weeks late and our first was induced. In my experience the Pitocin-aided birth did not take longer, but the contractions were much more intense.

MeAnd... MeAndTommyLee

And a lot of women ask for their own problems by demanding medications that slow down or even stop labor.  A legit problem is if the baby is breech, in distress, cord around their neck, mom's blood pressure is too high...and so on.  But when you demand epidurals and such are you not asking for a long, painful delivery?  Now granted, I've had one, but all I hear are horror stories about them.

the4m... the4mutts

Well, my personal opinion, after seeing dozens of friends have longer labors, harder labors, and multiple c-sections, I that its because they're fat.

Look, I love my friends. But if you already weigh 200-300lbs, loose some fucking weight before you decide to get pregnant. Every single one of my friends is bigger than me. I pushed out 4 children with no pitocin, 3 of those 4 were non-medicated, all natural births. I "rewarded" myself with an epidural for my 4th.

Lose weight by exercising, and aside from medical complications, continue exercising after you're pregnant, and the chaces of an 8hr labor half of that time spent at home, with 2 minute push times will increase. *yep, those were my labors. Be jealous*

ebmmy... ebmmy2004

I have three weeks til my due date and I am in no hurry for her to be here yet. First I still have last minute thigns to finish, but mostly because I know she will come when she's ready. A friend of mine waited almost 3 weeks PAST her due date because she refused to be induced and there was no abnormalities with her pregnancy and eventually she went into labor. I am just as uncomfortable as the next pregnant woman especially with the pelvic pain at night... but my baby will show up when shes ready... until then I know shes nice safe and toasty where she is so I can't blame her for wanting to stay. 

nonmember avatar Faye

My water broke at home and nothing. No contractions. Nothing. Was anxious so I went to hospital and got admitted. Stayed the night and had the baby at 3pm the next day. Really wish I had stated that night in my own bed instead of getting no sleep in hospital bed and then going into labor exhausted.

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