Slow Progress in Labor: Prolonged Labor

Slow Progress in Labor: Prolonged Labor

Slow progress in labor is also called prolonged labor and it’s a condition in which labor lasts for 20 hours or more if it’s your first pregnancy and 14 hours or more if it’s not your first pregnancy. A prolonged labor is extremely exhausting but in most of the cases it does not cause any complications.

Stages of Labor

 Slow progress in labor refers to when the first two stages of labor does not go as planned. In the first stage of labor, the cervix opens up and it can take more or less time as there is no fixed time limit for this. It starts and stops. Sometimes the cervix takes too much time to dilate and your doctor might discuss options with you. In the second stage, the cervix opens up and baby comes out through birth canal. Sometimes the baby’s head is not in the right position and its head does not descend as it should. If such a condition remains same for 2 hours, then your doctor will consider intervening. Slow progress in labor is painful and you will more likely to have birth interventions.

Causes of Labor

There can be many causes of prolonged labor such as:

  • A large baby.
  • Baby having a large head.
  • When baby is not in the right position.
  • When the cervix does not dilate fully and takes more time.
  • When pelvis is small to fit through.

Solutions of Prolonged Labor

Some cases of prolonged labor require medical intervention. But there are some ways through which you can ease your way. If there is slow progress in your labor, the first thing you should do is to wait and relax till the cervix fully dilates. Move around. Take a walk, sleep or a warm bath. Sometimes drugs slow down labor process and contractions. You should try changing positions which might as well help in progressing labor.

Another solution to problems that are caused by prolonged labor is a C-Section. When your baby is in a wrong position or head is too large to fit through pelvis, a C-Section is performed which is the best possible option. C-Sections are also performed when a woman is about to give multiple births. Half of twin births are through C-Sections. C-Section is a good option to avoid more birth complications. It prevents other critical labor issues.

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