When it comes to giving birth to baby number two 2, many moms may hear hopeful stories about the process being easier the second time through. But is that too good to be true? Is labor quicker during your second pregnancy? It turns out, it may not just be wishful thinking.
I was sure my second pregnancy would be a breeze, considering how easy it was the first time. But the joke was on me because my morning sickness lasted well into the afternoon, the headaches were consistent (and painful), and I experienced anxiety for the first time in my life. I couldn't help but wonder, "if my second pregnancy was this different, would the birth experience be as well?"
Luckily, my second time in the delivery room was even quicker that the first, and the soreness was much less prominent afterwards. But is that be the same for everyone?
In an interview with Today's Parent, obstetrician Dr. Jillian Coolen said it's an absolute medical fact that labor is shorter after the first pregnancy. Coolen stated that because your body has prepped and been through birth before, labor phases and pushing times don't last as long. Additionally, your cervix has lost some of its rigidity, which makes it easier for dilation and effacement to happen, according to Parents.
First-time labors generally last between 12 and 14 hours, but the good news is that your second baby could be born in half that time, according to Parenting. It's important to note, however, that if you had a C-section with your first baby, the shorter labor doesn't apply if it was done before the pushing stage. According to the aforementioned Parenting article, this is because your vagina and cervix haven't been stretched during a C-section and, as a result, are going through the vaginal birthing process for the first time.
As part of the the quicker labor, your contractions will be closer together, according to What To Expect. During your first pregnancy, your doctor might've advised you to chill at home until contractions quicken, but you'll want to ignore that advice the second time around.
The only downside to your body being experienced the second time through is that it may also cause you to have more false labors and more intense uterus pain after birth, according to Simple Living Mommy. Although you might second guess yourself during Braxton Hicks contractions, chances are you'll know when the real thing is happening, which is another perk of being through labor once before.