You finally got over the horror of your first pregnancy (it was truly worth it, wasn’t it?) and you are expecting number two! It remains great news until you begin thinking of the delivery process again. It is very normal to worry about it but there truly is hope! It will not necessarily be that bad.
People have been known to experience shorter labors especially with the second delivery. The assumption is that since the body has done this before it should have gotten used to it. The other pregnancy symptoms come earlier as well so why not this?
There are three main factors that will influence subsequent labor. These include the baby, the passage for the baby and the strength of your contractions.
This time round the baby could be bigger or smaller. It could also be positioned in such a way as to make labor a little difficult. One painful possibility is back labor. This is when the baby’s head is pressing on the tailbone instead of facing the opposite direction. It happens to about 15% of women and takes a little longer.
This is the route that the baby will use aka the cervix and birth canal. The first time was bound to be met with difficulty and resistance since nothing like this had ever occurred to your birth canal before. This time round however the way has already been ‘paved’.
The strength of your contractions will influence how long your labor will be. Stronger contractions will lead to faster labor. Unfortunately every pregnancy experiences different strengths of contractions even with the same mother.
Something very important to this whole process is your state of mind. It has been discovered that a relaxed and positive mind will help you relax and in turn speed up your labor. You may have a harder time relaxing if you had a hard time with your last birth. The fact that you made it through counts for a lot so you should be able to make it through this time as well.
This time round you might just find yourself doing things at the last minute because you are busy with raising the other child or children and the 9 months went by too fast. Even though you feel like you’ve done this before don’t relax too much and forget necessities like packing your bag and breathing exercises.