Can I have a vaginal delivery if my labor slows or stops?

Margit S. Lister, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
If your labor slows or stops, we usually give you approximately two hours at that stage, whatever stage that may be. If you were in labor and got to 6 centimeters and then at 6 centimeters you're thinking, "It has been an hour or two and I'm still at 6 centimeters," a lot of times, we'll put some internal monitoring or a little pressure tube that sits beside the baby's head. When the uterus contracts and pushes against that tube, it tells us the intensity of the contraction. If that pressure tube is not in the uterus, then we just know how often you're having contractions. But we don't know if they are really strong. When we know that you are having them frequently enough and strong enough, then we can say, "Okay, you are having adequate labor and you should be changing." Usually, it is a two-hour mark, but it depends on your ob/gyn. I will let you go a little longer to see if we can get you to do a vaginal delivery, if the baby is fine and you don't have an infection.

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