It seems that the only acceptable vaginal birth is one that follows the not-so-normal bell curve that people assume labor to be defined. You know, the dilating a centimeter an hour, and pushing immediately at 10 centimeters.
I’m sorry to tell you that this is far from true for so many birthing women. There are two reasons that doctors will tell you to expect labor to be around 12 hours. The first reason being the “dilate a centimeter an hour” thing and another 2 hours for pushing. (First time moms push over 2 hours on average, but that includes medicated mothers and unmedicated mothers.) The true reason is that studies show an average birth lasts 12-14 hours in length. But you understand how to average, right? You add all the birth hours up and divide by the amount of mothers in the study(ies). So if the average is 12-14 hours, that means half of women will exceed that number and half will labor for far fewer hours.
In our society, women who do not follow the “normal” pattern are labeled as having ‘complicated labors.’ In all reality, there is no true ‘normal’ for birth, but instead, a normal for each mother and each baby’s birth.
Let’s talk about the two extremes when it comes to timing birth: Prodromal Labor and Precipitous Labor Continue reading