what are the chances of a quick labour with first?

Hi Girls

I was speaking to my hubbys step mum and she said not all first time labours are slow, as in the labour lasting anything from 12 hours onwards..

She has really scared me now as I was planning on travelling 1 hour to a better hospital when my waters break. She said oh just watch out you might not make it in time as 2 of her friends gave birth within an hour of waters breaking, one in the car!

What is the liklihood of this happening with your first??

Also do first babies tend to be on time, earlier or later, or is it purely random? I was born at 28 weeks, very prem and only weighed 4 lbs and went down to 3lbs and was in an incubator for the first 4 weeks and fed on condensed milk. If I was prem is there a chance my baby might be?



  • It's possible that your labour will be short, but the chances of it being so short you won't make it to the hospital is slim. With my first my labour progressed very quickly but still made it to the hospital in plenty of time.
    First babies tend to be late but all pregnancies and babies are different so don't relay on this. My first was 2 weeks early.
    I don't know about being prem. There may be a chance yours will be but there is also a lot of factors that could lead to a prem baby so your mum's pregnancy could have been a lot different to yours.
  • I'm still clueless about the process, I thought that waters breaking was the first sign, or is it the contractions?? They said to call them as soon as something happens to get there and settled and would not send me back home again, which is good, but some people don't even have a gush of waters, it just leaks a bit.. how do you know?? X
  • I don't know anything about the labour part of it I'm afarid but I've just had a "pre-term" scan to access the risk of me going into labour before 33 weeks, you may be able to ask for that if you're worried you'd go into labour at 28 weeks as your Mum did xxx
  • how do you know labour has started then?? Good grief!! X
  • every woman is different hun so it will be dificult!
    with my son i had tightenings from 5.30pm and then at 11.30pm the contractions kicked in. at 4am i had my show and 5am my waters went!!

    contractions or your waters are usually the 2 main symptoms of labour being imminent. you can lose your show for weeks until labour starts so its not a very reliable symptom.
    best bet is as soon as you get any contractions time them for half hour to an hour then call the hospital for advice.
    as i said each woman is different and each preg is different. mine was pretty easy to spot but who knows what it will be like with this one!! lol
  • With my first baby, my labour was recorded as 4 hours 45 minutes! I was also under the assumption that all 1st labours were long, so it was a huge suprise for me. The worry I have now (I'm 18 weeks pregnant) is that they say subsequent births are quicker! X
  • My first birth was rather quick my waters broke at 7pm at home i got to the hospital at 7.30 is and my daughter was born at 10.37pm. I had been having mild contractions all day so knew baby was on its way i just didnt think established labour would be soooo quick.

    I now expecting no.2,only god knows how fast this one will make its entrance lol

    Good luck x
  • my 1st labour was 3 1/2 hours from first contraction to delivery, waters broke when pushing. 2nd labour 2 hours from 1st contraction
  • G/c from baby. Lo was 3 days early. Waters broke at 2am with no contractions. They started at midday. He was born at 4.30pm. If you read peoples birrth stories they'll give you an idea but a few of the 1st timers in my due in forum had quick labours like mine!
  • Should of added he was born at 4.47 pm!!!!

    Do some forum stalking and read the birth stories!!

  • First labours can be long but they aren't always. I was induced with my first (11 days late), and he was born 5 hours after my waters were broken and 2hiurs 47 minutes after first contraction - I was on the drip for all of my contractions, which can speed things up - and obviously it doesn't matter about getting to hospital as you're already there. I was concerned my second labour might also be quick, my consultant said my records showed I wasn't overstimulated by the drip and would likely have been quick anyway.
    2nd labour was less than 2 hours from waters going and 1 hour 13 mintues from first contraction! So I think I do have quick labours and my first still would've been quick without the drip

    I definitely wouldn't wait at home until your waters go if you're having contractions - it was my first sign of labour with my second but isn't everyone's, and some people's waters don't go until just before baby is born.
  • Its an impossible question to answer, my first labour was 7 hours from first twinge to delivering! i'd had no braxton hicks or obvious show etc so when i got to the birth centre after 5 hours of pottering about at home and was told i was 6cm i was a bit shocked especially as i must have lost my plug without realising, she was back to back which is associated with long, painful labours oh and my waters were still intact - i had her 2hours after arriving. My waters went whilst i was pushing too.
    Jo xx
  • Hi hun, I live about 30 - 40 minutes away from my hospital and the advise I have been given by my midwives is to call them when things start happening but not to actually go to hospital until my contractions are roughly 5 minutes apart. As you live that bit further away you might be wise to start your journey slightly sooner than that but your midwife will ba able to advise you.
  • With my first my waters went at just after 2am...I went back to bed lol. Just after 3am I had back ache, by 4pm I told hubby we were going to hospital...had DD at 6.06am 1 hour 45 mins after arriving at the hospital...the midwives didn't think I was in labour so left me and hubby for ages in the room before checking me over. They got a chock 'cos I was fully dilated. DD was back to back too, so all in all I was pleased with my 'quick' labour. It wasn't painful until I was pushing, the rest of the time I just had back ache but 'knew' I needed to go to hospital.

    Hopefully this one will be as quick. xx
  • wow amazing stories girls!! I am deliberatley not reading too much about the actual labouring part as I'd rather be a bit naive, than scare myself silly with facts! I guess its difficult to tell when the first stages of labour have started, hopefully my body will tell me so I get to hospital in plenty of time.. I live 2 minutes from my main local hospial (very old fashioned, not ideal), which is great, but would prefer to travel the hour to get to the brand new maternity unit, its like a hotel, amazing care! I get lots of back ache and twinges all the time, baby is a little wriggler, so I'm hoping that something definate will happen so I know I've started my labour.. I'm 26 weeks, but already thinking about thinks, I was born at 28 weeks! X
  • It really is a difficult one to answer, and the only one I can give really is that 'you just know', or I did.

    With my first I was induced so never really had the experience of the whole timing the contractions and second time my waters went first but I wasn't contracting at all, so still don't have that experience, but I will say that I knew my waters were about to go with my second so I bever bothered going to bed.

    As said above, if you're contracting don't wait for your waters to go, as some waters don't rupture until 10cms.

    Speak to your midwife, she'll be able to give you advice hun.
  • Sorry hun im gonna be one for the long team, with my 1st I started contracting at 1am sunday morning by 9am my contractions were every 2mins last a min still stayed at home as hospital only 5 mins away, went in at 12pm sunday to only be told had only dilated 1.5cm so off home (but told i am definatly definatly labouring well i could have told them that) by 1am pains were 1min apart and last what felt like forever so back to hospital (no broken waters) only 2.5cm dilated by 3am waters finally went and at 8.45 was still only 6cm but went from 6-10 in space of 20mins and at 9.37am dd was born so every1 labours different.
  • Hi hun, yeah my local hospital is not great, really stretched and not heard one good report, when I went to the new one it was fab! Every woman gets their own room and partner encouraged to stay the whole time.. just got a better feel! X

    I'm not bothered how long I labour for, as long as baby doesn't come super quick, I got a bit panicked when hubbys step mum said she knew 2 people that gave birth within an hour or so of contractions starting, which kinda freaked me out! X
  • I agree that first labours are longer but my first was still only 2 minutes off 12 hours (and I wasn't keeping active - I insisted on lying on my side and not moving - so could well have been quicker If i'd been upright and active), second labour was 3 hours 40 mins!
    Anyway, laboured for just over the 11 and a half hours until my waters broke and she was here 18 minutes later, ds was the same, as soon as my waters go baby is literally on it's way!
  • My mws had told me that your mum or sisters are a good indication of how your labour/birth might progress. Not sure what this means to compare with premi as there are other factors to consider, as one of the girls mentioned. These days with the scans and monitoring this can usually be picked up as a warning sign though.
    My 1st birth followed a similar pattern to my mum and my sister. Baby came late (my mum was induced 4 times for her 4 births, my sister too - though I didnt opt for induction). Our labours were all quick - mine was 6.5hrs start to finish and I was in established labour for 3.5hrs. My waters didnt break until 1.5hrs before delivery.
    What surprised me for my labour was that I didnt believe I was in labour since I felt my contractions in my back (started like intense period pain which i get in my back) - I had thought they were only felt in your bump (I never did feel any there). But I knew i was in labour due to the timing of the contractions which started at 5 mins apart and I became overwhelmed with a feeling of "this is it!!"
    It's a very exciting time. image
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