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Subsequent Labors: Are they easier?
~ A Message Board Archive

From Kathleen ~ Moms of more than one: Did you find your subsequent labors easier than your first? My first labor was definitely my hardest because I truly I had no idea what to expect. My second and third labors, however, were much easier for me. I think knowing what to expect definitely helped me in those subsequent labors; I feel as though my body knew what to do the second and third time around.

What has been your experience? How does your first labor and delivery compare subsequent labor and deliveries?

From 8isenuf ~ I would consider most of mine about the same. I did better at delivering the second and on (as far as knowing how to surrender to the moment; with the first I tried to stay in control) but the "pain", length of time, etc were about the same for all but the last but that was a positioning thing. Little Miss had her hand up on her forehead and it slowed everything down and made the pain more intense. I have decided that no two labors are the same for anyone. We share our stories and ideas for coping but you really just have to go deep inside and listen to "your" body while you are in the moment and surrender.

I don't think I answered your question. Yes, I do think it gets easier after your first (with complications not in the picture). It is a learn by doing thing. You understand what is happening, the feelings, the transition pain, etc. Even though you know that the baby will come out the anticipation, unknown life changes about to happen, wondering if you will ever have a baby to hold, love, and nurture seems like an eternity during the first labor. All those new pains you have never experienced can cause fear and slow down the labor process too. I remember thinking my insides were ripping out with my first and it was transition. I kept wanting to hold him in thinking my whole gut was about to come out! When the nurse told me that that is what I was suppose to be feeling I let go and AJ was here in 5 minutes. So, yes, knowledge is power.

From davismommy ~ I think my second labor was easier, although it is hard to compare the two since I was induced with the second. My first pregnancy I was in labor for six hours and they ended up using forceps to pull him out due to being in distress. With the second they induced due to my water breaking. I was only in labor for three hours and I think the doctor said I was only in active labor for about 16 minutes. With my first I had a fourth degree episiotomy, with the second it was just a second degree tear. All in all much easier.

From Laurisa ~ My second labor was great! Not too painful and very short. I spent most of my labor at home so she was in a great position and needed no interventions.

From Nancy ~ Like Kathleen, with my first I didn't know what to expect. Literally, I didn't expect pain because my Lamaze teacher said there wouldn't be any if I did my breathing. I soon learned differently - there definitely was pain. I was induced as well, (no pitocin) so that made it come on fast and strong.

Each of my labors were a little bit different though, so I can't say which was truly hardest. My second baby was my biggest (9lbs, 10oz). I had back labor with all three. I don't think one was harder or easier than another. For me, they didn't get easier with each one, but they were all beautiful and I'd do it again.

From Book_Worm ~ My second labour was a lot different, and definitely easier than my first was. Part was that I knew more what to expect, part was the lack of back labour, part was that baby #2 was a home waterbirth, while baby #1 was a hospital birth. Both labours were fast and intense, but being in my own home put me much more at ease than being in hospital. Being more relaxed made my labour so much easier.

From phishy ~ With my first, it was 16 hours, epidural, three and a half hours pushing . . . 8 pounds. With my second, it was 8 hours, no epidural - too far along to get it, 10 minutes pushing . . . 6 pounds, 10.5 ounces. Second one hurt more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From amykw33 ~ My first labor was 36 hours -- supposed to be a natural birth, and ended up with lots of pitocin, 2 epidurals, Demerol, you name it. My second and third labors were unmedicated. My second was 2 hours and my third was 5 hours. I found them much easier and manageable than my first, despite the lack of medication.

From Libby ~ I don't know because they were both different. I had twins the first time and a single the second. I had a vaginal delivery the first time and emergency c-section the second time. It almost makes me want to have another child just to experience labor again so I could see what would be normal for me! My second labor started the exact same way as my first and my doctor expected everything to be the same but my daughter had other ideas!

From Cheryl ~ My first labor was long and painful and it was just awful. I pushed for 2 hours because the doctor wasn't there and the stupid nurse didn't go get anyone even when she saw my baby's heart rate dropped when I pushed. She just commented that it was odd. After the doctor saw me push once, she suggested the vacuum. He was out in one push, face up, and the cord was wrapped around his neck! Tore me like the dickens! I was freaking out because he was all gray and not crying. I watched them rub him vigorously to get him to cry in the incubator by my bed. I'll never forget the sound of his first cry! My second labor was half the time! I spent most of my time on a birthing ball rotating my hips and it helped ease the pain and helped the baby descend. He was born normally, didn't tear me and they placed him right on me, which I missed out on with my first because he wasn't breathing. I was an old pro the second time too and just let him nurse for the first hour of his life; it was just him and me in the dim room, both of us eating It's the most precious time of my life.

From PaulaSue ~ My first was face up and my hardest by far, 21 hours long hard labor. I pushed for 20 minutes. My second was much easier and with her water breaking and starting the contractions it was 13 1/2 hours total. I pushed for 20 minutes. My third was induced and with them starting the medicine it was only 8 hours. I pushed 2 times, that was it. First she said try and then stop and got ready to catch and then the second time I pushed she slid right out.

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