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Dutchess_III's avatar

Why do some women have such an easy, quick time giving birth but others labor for hours?

Asked by Dutchess_III (39544points) March 12th, 2017

I’m very lucky, just a few hours every time, from beginning to end, and very little horrifying pain, except at the end. My Mom was the same way, but she didn’t know it.
But I’ll tell you who takes the cake out of everyone I know and that’s my Daughter-In-Law. It’s like, “Boom boom,” she’s done. AND walks out of the hospital in her pre-pregnancy jeans! You wouldn’t think it looking at her. She’s tiny, maybe 5’2”. I don’t think she weighs 100 pounds soaking wet. She doesn’t have a lot of womanly curves, either. She’s the last one you’d think, “She’s built to have babies!”

I listen to other women’s labor stories and sometimes it’s clear that some of them wouldn’t have lived through it a hundred years ago.

Why is it so easy for some, and so hard for others and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it?

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26 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Probably has a lot to do with size of the woman, size of the baby type thing.
and maybe some has to with hereditary but I am only a truck driver not a doctor.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You would think the size of a woman would, and that’s why I described my DIL. She’s the tiniest thing and all of her kids have been 7+ pounds. I mean, there was like no labor at all. She went so fast they didn’t even have time to give an epidural!

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Do you think faze of mind has anything to do with it?
If the woman is all tense and freaked out might be more labour intensive,over if she is relaxed and at ease with it?
Just wondering ,seeing I am a guy and my wife and I chose not to go through this a very long time ago.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know the answer to that. It’s painful any way you slice it, and it’s impossible to be relaxed and at ease when your insides feel like they’re being slowly ripped out! But that was the only hard part for me. Everything leading up to it was easy.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Man am I ever glad I never put Mrs Squeeky through that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was worth it. And my choice to not use any drugs. I assume it’s much easier when you can’t feel anything.

Seek's avatar

A lot of it is positioning. The cervix ripens and dilates as a response to the baby’s head pressing on it.

I have fairly roomy hips for someone my size but I’m only 5 feet tall. Even though my kid was 10½ lbs, my body size wasn’t an issue. It was the fact that he’d managed to wedge his shoulder into my pelvic bone, so he just wasn’t descending. Of course, he was also positioned in such a way that they could tell neither his actual size (they told me he’d be about 7 lbs. Rat fink.) nor his stuck-ness via ultrasound.

Since he couldn’t descend, I was stuck at like -1 position and 6 cm for almost a day and a half.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

And people say you women are the weaker sex, shit if you told me I had to endure what you women go through with just child birth, I would let the entire human race simply die off.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was thinking of you @Seek when I wrote this.

@SQUEEKY2 LOL! Someone did it for you, too!

Seek's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – there’s a reason I only did it once on purpose.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Seek I guess ,NO one would want to go through what you did ,once would be more than enough.
I wouldn’t do it even once with what you went through even if it meant the end of the human race.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I think most of us, who survived, thought it was worth it @SQUEEKY2.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

That is why you women have the job, if it was up to us men the human race would have ended thousands of years ago.

JLeslie's avatar

Some women are lucky. It’s like everything. Some people are in agony during a dental cleaning, some people feel almost no discomfort. Some people die from a bee sting, other people have a slight redness like it barely happened. Everyone is different.

I think regarding labor and delivery, some of it is genetics, some the physical fitness of the mother, some the size of the baby, some the shape of the mother, and even then everything can seem perfect, and the hormones just don’t kick in right, or something else goes wrong. Or, a woman can be overweight, and out of shape, and she has a simple labor. No guarantees.

Pregnancy is the same deal. I know women who had morning sickness day and night all 9 months! Hospitalized for it more than once. One friend of mine only had it that bad with one of her three pregnancies, the third child. For her it was just for 3 months.

You never know.

rojo's avatar

punishment from god.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Too many variables,I would think. Genetics, overall health of the mother,health of the fetus, stress levels, dietary / nutritional ,hydration status of mother at time of birth, previous births etc.

And, as @rojo mentioned, punishment from your god…

All they had to do,was not eat the apple…~

Seek's avatar

I’m looking forward to this kind of labor and delivery in the future (video, 1½ minutes)

Stinley's avatar

I think that if there were something that caused some women to have an easier time, then we’d all be having that thing. It’s just one of those things which varies from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy as well.

Saying that, I tried hypnobirthing with my second child and thought that it did help with the first stage. I abandoned it for the second stage, not deliberately, but I was in too much pain to concentrate. I had water births at home and I believe that both these factors helped as well. There is evidence that you are more relaxed giving birth at home, although it is very much a self-selected group of women so this may be an influencing factor.

The absolute worst thing, and the thing that I believe has contributed the most to medicalisation of childbirth, is labouring while lying on your back. Gravity is your friend! Kneel or stand and lean on something so that the baby’s head presses down and helps open your cervix. The more this happens, the less you will be dependent on the contractions to do this job. Further on, pushing down is so much easier than pushing along.

Stinley's avatar

I did a bit of research in my medical sources. Can’t link as it’s a subscription database. The reasons for extended labour which have some evidence to back them are:
Uterus not contracting efficiently
Older maternal age
Long cervical length at midpregnancy
Pregnancy complications
Abnormal fetal heart rate pattern
Bandl’s ring
epidural anesthesia
Big baby
Small pelvis
Baby is the wrong way round
First time mums
Short stature (less than 150 cm)
Baby not descended
Amniotic infection
Postterm pregnancy
Stuck baby
Uterine abnormality

Seek's avatar

I had nine on the list!

Stinley's avatar

I had 2 for my first (baby’s back to my back, first time mum) but she turned round during the 8 hour labour. None for the second time which was a four hour labour. Our small sample is following the evidence @Seek!

JLeslie's avatar

Then there are women who just simply would die in labor. A relative of mine by marriage never would have been able to get the baby out. The baby wasn’t fully in position, too big for her space I think. She labored over 24 hours. Without a c-section it would have been the worst possible outcome.

Stinley's avatar

@JLeslie Indeed – it’s now rare and shocking if a woman dies in childbirth, but on the other hand, the number of births that have medical intervention is huge and how many of those could have been straight-forward in a different birth environment? It’s such a fine line – I want me and baby to be safe and alive after giving birth but I also don’t want a traumatic experience if I don’t have to, and often the ‘cascade of intervention’ does lead to that traumatic experience.

One of the other things that was mentioned in my database was that oftentimes, the reasons quoted are diagnosed after the fact. There is no way of knowing. But midwives and obstetricians should know the difference between things being slow but progressing and things having delayed or stopped because of one of these problems. I always said that, although I wanted a homebirth, if I were in trouble I had no problem being taken into hospital and have all the medical interventions thrown at me. Being at home would be more relaxing for me and less stressful so I hoped to avoid long labour. I had very low risk pregnancies and the second time, my labour was even lower risk because I’d already given birth without problems. That’s not the case for everyone of course.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not to mention twins or triplets! My daughter had twins via c-section.

JLeslie's avatar

I know someone who said her twins were an easier delivery than her singleton. The twins were her first pregnancy. The singleton was a much bigger baby. Although, it is true that I think multiple babies are more likely to be c-section, it’s not always the case.

augustlan's avatar

I have no clue. I had super easy and fast labor/delivery for the first two, so much so that they were worried I wouldn’t make it to the hospital for my third if I went into labor naturally. (Induced early for all my babies.) No pain meds, both babies over 7 pounds, 7 hours for the first and 5 hours for the second, from induction to birth. Painful, but still…easy-peasy.

The third was my tiniest baby at just over 5 pounds, but my labor/delivery with her was the hardest and took the longest! No pain meds this time either, but they gave me pitocin to move labor along (which also made it extra painful), and it still took 12 hours. That said, I was induced the earliest for her, and she needed a little oxygen when she was born, so maybe she just wasn’t quite ready to be born yet.

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