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Ask the midwife How long does labour typically last?

We asked Midwife Hannah to answer this question for us. She said: "Childbirth, the culmination of pregnancy, is a unique journey for every woman. One of the most common questions expecting mothers have is: how long does childbirth last? While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the general timeline can help alleviate some anxiety.

Typically, childbirth can be divided into three stages: early labour, active labour, and the delivery of the placenta. Early labour can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days as the cervix gradually dilates. During active labour, contractions become stronger and more frequent, and this stage often lasts around 4 to 8 hours for first-time mothers and shorter for subsequent births. Finally, the delivery of the placenta occurs shortly after the baby is born, which usually takes around 5 to 30 minutes.

However, it's crucial to remember that every woman's experience is different. Factors such as the mother's health, baby's position, and any medical interventions can influence the duration of labour. Additionally, staying calm, practicing relaxation techniques, and having a supportive birth team can positively impact the birthing process.

Ultimately, while childbirth duration varies, focusing on staying informed, prepared, and flexible can empower mothers-to-be to embrace their unique childbirth experiences with confidence and resilience." If you would to speak to Hannah for more advice about labour and childbirth, please click here.

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