How long does it take to deliver a baby?

During childbirth, the length of time that one is in labor to the time that one delivers one's baby can vary a lot from patient to patient. One of the main causes of variation is that if this is your first baby, it tends to take longer. If you already had a baby, it tends to be shorter. Moms who are delivering for the first time tend to take 8 to 10 hours to labor and deliver. Whereas, mothers who are on their second (or more) baby tend to take 4 to 6 hours. That can be much shorter, and it can also be much longer depending on: the size of the baby, the size of the mother's pelvis, and the adequacy of contractions. You can keep your labor shorter by making sure that the contractions are adequate. That would be something that your obstetrician would help you with.

Once your water is broken, that tends to accelerate your contractions and shorten your labor as well. Also if you have an induction of labor, it's important that your cervix be favorable. If you attempt an induction of labor without a favorable cervix, that can result in a very long labor and delivery.

Delivering a baby is a slow process. Often times, it can take an hour to dilate one centimeter, so labor can take 10, 12, hopefully not, but sometimes 24 hours to go through all the steps.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.