- 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.
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 ½ hours from the very first contraction to the minute he was born. I never knew there was an actuall term
for how fast I delivered lol. I’m currently 28 weeks (as of tomorrow) and during my last appointment, my doctor told me she may induce me a week early so my labor can be more “controlled” and to be sure I make it to the hospital since this next labor can go even faster (my son was born just 20 minutes after arriving to the hospital).
I’m a little nervous… one part of me doesn’t want to be induced because as painful as my labor was… it was super fast (which was awesome!). However, maybe an induction will be a good idea because it does worry me that I won’t make it to the hospital. I'm sure my fiance would faint at the very thought
of having to deliver our baby lol.
Has anyone had a previous precipitous labor? If so, how did your 2nd, 3rd, etc labor go?
Oh, here is the link for more info on precipitous labor.