Q&A: Will My Second Labor Be As Bad As My First?

No two births are the same, so don't worry too much if your first labor was difficult.

Q. I'm pregnant with my second child, and I'm really nervous about delivery because I had such a difficult labor with my first baby. Is this one likely to be the same?

A. Every labor and delivery is unique, so there's no way to predict what will happen. However, if this isn't your first baby, you'll most likely have an easier time of childbirth than you did with your first pregnancy.

Why? Your body already knows what to do. This time around, your cervix is more likely to dilate quickly and shorten your labor. The fact that your vaginal muscles are already stretched from your first birth will also speed things along because they'll give more easily this time. Of course if you had a cesarean delivery without labor the first time around, none of this applies unless the cesarean was performed after you entered the pushing stage.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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