Early (or latent) labor can last up to 20 hours for a first delivery and 10 to 12 hours for successive deliveries, from the commencement of labor to 3 cm of dilatation. Active labor: Dilation to 7 cm continues for an average of 5 hours in first deliveries and 2 hours in subsequent births. Most women give birth between 8 and 38 weeks' gestation.
The risks increase with dilation beyond 6 cm or if it proceeds too fast. The benefits of giving birth before completing your 37th week' gestation are increased as your baby grows older and more mature. These include greater strength of heartbeat, breathing, and brain activity as well as better eyesight, hearing, and ability to taste food. There is also less risk of infection and trauma to the baby. On the other hand, there is also increased risk of hemorrhage after birth, ruptured uterus, and obstructed labor if dilation progresses too quickly or if you are already in active labor at 7 centimeters.
You should discuss with your health care provider how far along you are in your pregnancy when deciding how close to fully dilated you should be prior to delivering. Health care providers may advise you to avoid labor induction until after 40 weeks due to the increased risks of severe bleeding and infection. They will also likely recommend that you avoid analgesics such as pain relievers and Tylenol during labor to prevent excessive bleeding after childbirth.
This is referred to as being completely dilated. The period from the onset of established labor to being completely dilated in first labor is generally 8 to 12 hours. In a second or third pregnancy, it is usually faster (about 5 hours). Complete dilation does not mean that the cervix is softening all the way through. It can take days or even weeks before the cervix is ready for a vaginal exam or fetal monitoring.
Once you have reached complete dilation, your doctor will want to know how the baby is doing and if there is any sign of distress. Most doctors will recommend waiting at least an hour after completing dilation before testing the water. If the pool is too cold for your comfort level, then you should wait until it has warmed up a little bit. Some physicians may tell their patients to wait 24 hours before going into shock, but this is not necessary for healthy women with uneventful labors.
If you are experiencing severe pain when you go into labor, it is best to get checked out by a physician as soon as possible. Many women who feel like they can't wait any longer than 8 hours to go into labor may actually be in transition, which can last for several more hours.
In conclusion, once you reach complete dilation, it is important to let your caregiver know so they can start monitoring the baby.
When your cervix dilates to 3 cm, you've most likely reached the early stages of labor. Your cervix progressively dilates to around 6 cm at this point. This is the most time-consuming portion of the job and can take anything from a few hours to a few days, though 8 to 12 hours is typical. After reaching 3 cm dilated, your doctor will probably want to check on you every hour for several more hours after that, then once or twice more during the next day or two.
The longer you can stay at 3 cm dilated, the less likely it is that you'll need a epidural or other pain medication and the faster you'll go through labor. However, it's not unusual to spend several days at this stage of labor. You can expect to go through contractions all day, every day until you reach 3 cm dilated. Even after you pass this point, your cervix may continue to dilate for another 24 hours or so before finally settling down at 4 cm or more in length.
You should plan on making it to at least 3 cm dilated before labor if you want to avoid an epidural. However, many women who aren't bothered by pain during labor choose to stay in further dilations up to 7 cm or even 8 cm.
It's normal to feel some fatigue during labor, but make sure to eat well-balanced meals and get enough sleep each night.
In comparison to the slow speed of early labor, it only takes a first-time mom 48 minutes on average to dilate from 5 to 6 cm. 6 to 7 cm travels even quicker, taking an average of 36 minutes. From then, most women will dilate 1 cm every 30 minutes until their cervix is 10 cm dilated (3).
The time required for labor to proceed at a normal rate is called its "latency." A woman's latency period can be anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks, with an average of 42 days. The earlier a mother goes into labor, the shorter her latency period will be. If she delays the start of labor by going into premature contractions or having a cesarean section, her latency period will also be prolonged.
Women who have a short latency period and whose babies are healthy usually do not experience any problems with their labors. However, if there are complications with the pregnancy or the delivery, a woman may need medical help to shorten her labor's latency period so that it matches her cervical dilation schedule.
It is important for women to realize that the length of their labor does not matter as much as how fast it progresses. It is generally accepted that if a woman has a healthy baby and does not require additional assistance during the birth, her labor will have lasted between 12 and 24 hours after the complete dilation of her cervix.
It can take up to 2 hours every centimeter dilated for a first-time mother, and especially up to 3 cm, depending on several aspects, such as whatever phase the cervix is in. Stage 1 of labor is frequently the longest, and it is all about the cervix. The cervix widens until it reaches 10 cm due to contractions. At this point, it's time to plan the next step.
If the cervix is unripe (lacks softening) or too ripe (has broken down collagen and become thin), then it will take longer to dilate. The more mature your cervix is, the harder it will be for your doctor to open you up safely.
The average woman dilates 1 cm per hour during stage one, which means she could spend anywhere from 6 to 24 hours in that stage alone.
In conclusion, it takes a first-time mom between 6 and 24 hours to dilate up to 10 centimeters because there's no pain signal yet, the cervix isn't mature, and it can take longer if the cervix is immature or premature.
Active Work This stage usually lasts three to five hours and lasts from the time your cervix is 3 cm to the time it is dilated to 7 cm. True labor provides indicators that you don't want to disregard. Your contractions will last 45 seconds to a minute, with just three to five minutes between them. They may be strong or weak, but they should get stronger as your baby moves down toward birth.
The first thing to know about how long you can stay in active labor is that it depends on how far along you are in the process. If your cervix is less than half-way there, you can stay in active labor for up to six hours. If it's more than half-way dilated, you can stay as long as 12 hours. Of course, not everyone goes all the way through their cervix during labor, so this is just an estimate of how long you could possibly stay in active labor.
You also need to understand that your body is doing its best to keep your baby inside of you until after your water breaks. So even if you do want to go ahead and move into second stage, you won't be able to stay in bed forever. You'll have to get up at some point to breathe, to drink, and to use the bathroom.
In addition, there are other factors to consider.