Q&A: Duration of Labor
Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, How long does labor last if you're having your first baby?
I'm a first-time mom who is nervous about how long it will take to deliver my baby. Is there any way to gauge how long labor might last?
Labor is almost always longer with the first baby. The first stage of labor, known as the latent phase, can last up to 20 hours for the first baby. The active stage of labor begins at 4 centimeters. The average dilation rate at that point is about 1.2 centimeters per hour.
Once you become completely dilated, pushing can last up to two hours without an epidural, or three hours with an epidural. This would be a typical labor for a first baby.
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