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Precipitous labor Jomayra 2 kids; Puerto Rico 135 posts
20th Apr '09

Precipitous labor - The medical term for a fast labor is "precipitous" and is defined by any labor that lasts for 3 hours or less from start to finish. These are often the stories that make headlines in the paper, such as "Baby born on Expressway" or "Father delivers baby at home."
Precipitous labors do happen, but parents should be cautioned about several things before they assume they will have a fast labor and get to their place of birth too soon.
1. Precipitous labors are much more common with second or later babies. It is very unlikely that a mother will have a very fast (3 hours or less) labor with her first baby.
2. Exact statistics of precipitous labors are not known, but some preliminary data shows the percentages to be roughly 2% of all labors. This information should also reinforce to expectant parents that their own chances of a very fast labor are quite small.
3. Mothers with a previous precipitous labor are more likely to have another.
4. Mothers with a previous precipitous labor have several options with subsequent pregnancies and should not be compelled to be induced to "control the labor.

What options to consider if you have already had a Precipitous Labor?

It is not uncommon to hear that providers recommend induction for mothers with a history of precipitous labor. While this does help to ensure the baby comes out in the right place, it does not at all guarantee that labor will be less frenetic or painful or even that your provider can prevent tearing that can occur in a fast labor. It is important to discuss your desires and options with your provider well before your due date.
Remember to factor in the distance you need to travel as well as if your cervix has begun to dilate before labor. If they can read the possible and definite signs of labor, most mothers who live within a reasonable distance to their place of birth, (less than 30 minutes) should have no difficulty getting there on time. In fact, some mothers who have had a previous fast labor will choose to leave for the hospital as soon as their contractions start.


:arrow: :arrow: :arrow: Ok, now here is my question/ dilema - According to by OBGYN, this is the type of labor I had with my son. It lasted only 2

jbug Due October 17; Michigan 1 posts
11th May '10

I am really curious to see what kind of responses you get. I had a precipitous labor- mine was less than an hour and a half and we DIDN'T make it to the hospital. We starterd driving and ended up going to the fire station. My daughter was born on the side of the road in an ambulance. I am currently 18 weeks pregnant with my second. We almost decided not to have another child because of how tramatic the birth was. I knew my labor wasn't going the way a normal labor was suppose to. I didn't think anything was serously wrong, but I knew it wasn't right. It was terrifing.My husband was frantically driving while Iwas in hard larbor. We were bothin a panic. Idon't know if you had this problem, but I felt very disconnected after the delivery which is suppose to be pretty common after this kind of labor.
The doctor has already disccussed an induction a week early. However my daughter was early and I have been told that the second will probably be early as well. I really don't want an induction, but I would much rather have an induction than go into labor while alone with my 3 year old. If she weren't going to be around I would opt for a home birth. We are planning to have someone with me for the whole last month- we're already asking people to come stay with us for a week at a time so that I will not be alone with my daughter.

Based on my first experience- we will not be trying to drive ourselves to the hospital we will call 911 and wait for the ambulance (may have that home birth after all). At least this way it can be more relaxed and calm.

Has anyone had a normal deliveryafter a precipitous?

Proud USMC wife 4 kids; Milwaukee, Wisconsin 231 posts
11th May '10

Lets see my 1st son it was a total of 3 hours exactly, he was 6 days late tho. My 2nd son was 12 days late & didnt want to come out! Labor was 5-6 hours with him.3rd son was 6 days late & i had to be induced labor was hell I think 12 hours. Besides scheduling an induction is easier because they get the whole cut of the money rather than you spontaneously going into labor so some on-call dr can deliver & they have to split the money for their services.

Andrea Bilkoski British Columbia 1 posts
30th Sep '10

I just gave birth 8 month ago to my second baby. With my first son I was in labour for 2 1/2 hours and with my second it was about 2 hours. If we do end up having a third I think I will opt to getting induced. My first pregnancy was 5 days early and with my second I was 9 days early. I was so shocked to have a preciptous labour with my first. Both times I only had laughing gas. The pain was horrific. I know there's risks to getting induced, but the fear of going into labour while home alone freaks me out. I was so paranoid with my second. Luckily my hubby was home and drove me like a maniac to the hospital. By the time I got there I delivered in 45 mins.

Neil , Bob & Bethany's Mu 3 kids; Belleville, Ontario 4644 posts
30th Sep '10

Quicker labours can be more painful, especially with first babies - but an induction will also increase pain exponentially - the synthetic hormones used bind to all of your body's hormone receptors, thus blocking any natural painkillers your body is making.



Personally I think that you should explore other options - taking into consideration how close you are to the hospital, or consider a home birth. Like another mum said - less stressful that way. Or whether there is somewhere you can stay which is closer to the hospital during the last weeks of your pregnancy.



This is huge reason why I believe every women and husband should know the basics of giving birth, what signs to watch for when it comes to complications and how to handle things in general - how to cradle the head as it comes out, not pulling or cutting the cord ect.......
It IS scary - and can be traumatic to have to give birth alone, or with only your partner - but for the most part it shouldn't be - it may not be what you plan, or expect - but it should be something you know enough about to be able to handle without panic.
maybe someday in the future it will once again become simply another part of what everyone learns as we grow up - not just the farm kids, midwives kids, or people in isolated communities.... maybe one day birth and how to manage an unexpected birth will be included in our "sex ed" and physical education classes for high school kids. Maybe someday we'll get our power back and stop breeding a culture that fears birth more than any other in the world....




sorry for the rant LOL......



Best of luck OP for figuring out what's best for you and your LO.

user banned Lesbos, Greece 95211 posts
30th Sep '10

Mine would have been classified as precipitous had I not have had my 40 week appt that day. They caught me in labor. Mine would have ended up classified as precipitous because I wouldn't have felt anything until 7 or 8 cm. I was 6cm at my appt and felt nothing.

Anyways, because of that, I was induced with my 3rd and will be with this one as well. My induced labor with my youngest was 6 hours from the time I got hooked up to Pitocin until I delivered her. It likely would have been quicker if I had opted to not do it unmedicated. I stalled at 5cm for a bit because I freaked out.

I expect 3-5 hours if they end up using Pitocin this time. My OB wants to control the speed so he's breaking my water and seeing what happens after that. If labor can start up without Pitocin, then he won't use it on me since the Pit is going to make my labor fly by.