How Long Can Labor Be With a 2nd Pregnancy?

Cynthia Flynn's picture


Dear Midwife,
Hello, I am only 7 weeks pregnant as of now but this is my second child. I was wondering if the labor time will be less than with my first pregnancy.

With my daughter I had high blood pressure and I was put on bed rest for 3 months and towards the end they said they were going to induce my labor on January 1 at 7 PM. We went to bed at 5 AM on the 1st because we were going to try to sleep all day to get ready for the big night. Well my daughter had other plans in mind because I woke up at 7:20 AM uncomfortable and I thought that I had to pee, but as soon as I got to the edge of the bed my water broke.

When we got to the hospital at 9:30 I was 3cm and then at 11:15 they said that my blood work was back and I could have an epidural. They didn't check to see how far dilated I was until after they gave me the epidural and once they checked I was 8 CM. Apparently they shouldn't have given me the epidural because I was past 6 CM. So they had to come in every 10 min to make sure that it hadn't stopped my labor, at noon when they checked me I was fully dilated and ready to go. They decided just to let the contractions do the work for me since I had already had the epidural. they told me to let them know when it felt like I had to use the bathroom and I couldn't hold it, they explained that would be the baby ready to come out. So at 1:30 I told them that I thought that she was ready and at 1:47 she was born.

I was just wondering since my labor was so short if the next one will be shorter than that. I want to be prepared to leave at a moments notice if I have to. The doctor that I had with my daughter told me he was going to give me his cell phone number next time I got pregnant if he was my doctor because of the labor being so short with my daughter. I had heard that the first pregnancy is always the longest. Thank you for listening to me babble on. I look forward to hearing from you!


Almost for sure!

It is true that second labors are often quicker, and it sounds like you learned two valuable lessons with your first labor: 1) that when you relax you go into labor, and 2) that you don't really need an epidural to have a baby.


It still sounds like the labor was at least 5.5 hours long (probably started some before the water broke), which is normal for a first labor with a relaxed momma. I'm thinking you will make it to the hospital just fine this time, but probably won't be there quite as long before the baby comes. Good luck!

--Cynthia, CNM


My first child was a week late, I had to be induced and took me over 12 hours to deliver. My daughter was also a week late, and I had to be induced, but she was born within 6 hours of getting induced. I am currently 7 weeks pregnant with my third, and hoping that this one will be even easier. Hope this eases your mind a little bit=:)