Archived Q&A and Reviews

Preparing for a very fast labor & delivery

April 2003

I have two children and have a very fast labor and delivery record. First born was 4hrs 42 minutes from waking up with contractions to giving birth. Second was 1 hr 50 minutes total!! We are going to have a third next year and I am worried about my next birth. I am looking for any advice, stories or classes that can help my husband and I prepare in case we do not get to the hospital in time. My fear is that I will deliver either at home fast or in the car. I would like to educate myself and my husband on what to do if we deliver outside of the hospital. Did you have a simial situation you would like to share or do you know of anyone who will teach us how to give birth? THanks in advance for your time and information!!! jennette

Congratulations. Having been through two very rapid deliveries myself, I do have some advice. I had a four hour labor and with my second child a two hour labor. I hired a mid-wife for the second birth thinking that that would avoid the problem of rushing to the hospital, but I had trouble identifying the start of labor and communicating with the mid-wife. As a result the mid-wife had trouble getting to me quickly enough and ended up running through the door as the baby crowned. I advise having a mid-wife or doctor teach your partner how to catch the baby. But really, what I suggest is that you plan to induce the birth by the gentlest means, not protocin, at the hospital or at home. Again, I'm not certain what the ''how'' of this is. But I know there are gentle means to do it when the baby is term. Best wishes to you for your pregnancy. anon
I was very worried about an extremely fast labor and delivery when pregnant w/ my second. My first labor was only 2 1/2 hours and we just barely made it to the hospital. This second time around knowing it was going to be very fast helped. First off, my husband and I read a one page thing about emergency delivery, just in case. After all, the baby is going to come out no matter what and it might not be ideal to give birth in the car or at home alone, but, chances are, it'll be OK. The next thing I did (at my family's insistence) was that I went nowhere out of the house alone. This may be impractical (and it annoyed the heck out of me), but I did feel less scared knowing I wouldn't be alone in a car/ store/ wherever giving birth. And then the other thing I did was learn all of the signs of pre-labor and went on heightened awareness. On the day my son was born (just over a month ago) I was out of the house and had a very strong feeling that I needed to go home (I really had no definitive signs of pre-labor) and as soon as I got home things started happening and we got to the hospital w/ time to spare ( it was a less than 2 hour labor this time). Good luck and don't worry. Things'll work out! Molly G