How long does it take from labor to birth?


In the previous article, we explained how painful it would be when delivering. And if you are a first-time mother, you may wonder how long it takes time from labor to delivery. So, here we will explain it.

Average time from the start of labor to delivery

Again, the time it takes from the onset of labor to delivery varies from person to person. A study of 2,742 women who delivered spontaneously at two midwifery centers reported that the average time from labor to delivery was 14 hours and 38 minutes for first-time mothers and 7 hours and 59 minutes for women who had given birth before the start of labor. 

Average Time to Delivery

First-time mothers: 14 hours 38 minutes

Transient women 7 hours 59 min.

The results show that, in general, the first birth takes longer and the second and subsequent births take about half the time. This is thought to be due in large part to the fact that the cervix opens more slowly and the skin of the perineum is less stretched during the first delivery.

Factors influencing the time from the start of labor to delivery

In addition to whether it is the first or second or subsequent birth, there are other factors that affect the time from the start of labor to delivery. Let’s take a look at them below.

Weak labor due to anxiety or nervousness

As the birth progresses, labor pains become stronger, which is inevitable for the safe birth of the baby. However, contractions may become weaker or longer in duration during delivery. These contractions are called “weak contractions” and can prolong the time until delivery. Weak labor contractions may be caused by an overexcitement of the sympathetic nervous system due to intense anxiety or nervousness about the birth. It has also been reported that women who go into labor with a lack of sleep or fatigue are more likely to experience weak labor pains.

Baby size

The size of the baby also greatly affects delivery time. In particular, huge babies with a birth weight of 4000g or more tend to take longer in the second stage of labor, and the time from the start of labor to delivery tends to be longer. There is also a high likelihood of problems during delivery, often resulting in a cesarean section. Gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain are risks for babies growing too large, so it is important to adjust your lifestyle during pregnancy.

Weight gain for mothers

Ideal weight gain during pregnancy is considered 8-12 kg. However, mothers who were obese, to begin with, or who gained too much weight during pregnancy not only tend to have larger babies but also may have more fat in the birth canal, which increases the time required for the second stage of labor.

Age of Mothers

For the birth to proceed smoothly, the cervix must be firmly open and the birth canal and perineum must be fully stretched. In general, the older a woman gets, the more her body tissues and skin lose elasticity and become stiffer, so it tends to take longer for the cervix to open and the birth canal to stretch, resulting in a longer delivery time.

Nevertheless, since weight gain for mothers can prolong delivery, if there are no signs of impending preterm labor, it is advisable to make it a habit to exercise moderately once the baby is in stable condition.


The time from the start of labor to delivery varies from person to person, and it generally takes longer for a first-time mother to give birth. However, you will only have to endure painful labor for a limited time. If you are anxious or nervous about labor pains, they may become distant and prolong the delivery, so you should try to be as relaxed as possible.

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