Three Benefits of a Longer Labour that will Give You Comfort!

As a Birth Educator and as a mother I have heard all too often the idea expressed that a Long Labour is a woman’s worst nightmare when it comes to birth.  Hundreds of women must have expressed this fear and misinformed notion to me over the past 17 years. I want to clear this up a little so you can rest your mind at ease and step into your birth with the best possible chance of a safe birth for you and your baby and the best possible chance of achieving the natural birth if you so desire.   A new client, having her second baby, was sharing with us that her previous caesarean was because of ‘failure to progress’.  Now this is a interesting term worth discussing.  It is used when labour is considered prolonged, the clock is ticking, everyone is getting a little tired and impatient and want it all over and done with.  There are many times where you could substitute this quite negative term which seems to blame the woman’s body with the term ‘failure to wait’!

A long labour does not always need to been seen as a negative thing.  There are some definite positives in a longer labour, some clear reason why a little more patience can often go a long way and a catch 22 of being afraid of a long labour.  I want to clear these things up for you so that you can remove any subconscious, mis-informed blocks out of the way with out too much effort at all.


3 Reasons Fear of a Long Labour is a Catch 22:

  1.  Impatience often comes with fear, anxiety, stress and even excitement.  Any of these in a prolonged state can inhibit and interrupt the flow of labour hormones and possible create the very situation you are afraid of – a long, slow, more painful labour that you feel you are unable to cope with.
  2. The fear of a long labour causes many women to rush off to the hospital early.  This type of drama in early labour can also prolong labour, when staying home as long as you feel comfortable to will actually support you into an easier labour.  Again a catch 22 where the fear itself may create the very things you’re afraid of.
  3. A long labour carries a pre-conceived notion that you wont’ cope, when in fact, you probably will.  This pre-conceived notion undermines your confidence in your innate ability to birth your baby.

3 Positives to a Longer Labour:

  1.  I often ask to my clients, especially those having their first baby, “How would you feel if I told you that you were going to have your baby in your arms in one hours time?” and I usually get the same set of responses – a bit shocked, unprepared, excited are typical examples.  I tell them, there is a good reason first babies take a little time.  You and your partner need some time to get your head around the baby arriving and that you are going to become parents, you are going to be responsible for your own family and to be emotionally ready for the profound change taking place in your life.  If I said your bay will be here tomorrow, or in 2 days time, it feel a little better.
  2. Longer labours can often start and stop giving the mother valuable rest time and allow her to pace herself if there is no pressure to ‘hurry up’.  Taking advantage of rest time will make a huge difference to your labour.  If you have a longer labour, you will cope more easily by conserving physical, emotional and mental energy – simple by pacing yourself.
  3. A longer labour means you absolutely don’t have to worry about rushing to the hospital to birth.  Relax, take your time and go with the flow of the surges.

3 Reasons Patience is needed in Labour:

  1. Patience allows you to sit in the moment.  This means your thoughts are not in the future or the past – exactly where your mind needs to be in order to allow a string flow of labour hormones and for labour to progress steadily, safely and efficiently. So we need to be patient with ourselves.
  2. Patience by those around you takes off a lot of pressure.  Performance anxiety is a huge problem in labour.  It’s the ‘watched kettle’ syndrome.  You all know the saying A watched kettle never boils.  Performance anxiety makes you question your body, yourself, nature and even common sense.  It also creates stress hormones which can inhibit of slow labour making it unnecessarily long and perhaps even unnecessarily painful.  So we need well informed patient people around us.
  3. Patience will allow you to connect more deeply and clearly with your intuition and your instincts so that you feel very sure about what you and the baby need and about any decisions you make.

So a little change in awareness could be the very thing that  tips everything in your favour for the birth that you dream of for you and your baby.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.  Comment below the one thing you needed to hear right now.

There are many free resources here for you to become more informed, more aware and to gain practical tools for a positive labour.  Please browse through my site and message me with any questions or comments.


If you would like a free Pregnancy Clarity Session with me,   I have a few time slots reserved weekly for free sessions.  We will look at the immediate steps that you can take to get you on track to the birth that you want and I’ll be able to let you know if I can help you further, otherwise point you in the right direciton.  Grab yours now by applying here : Apply for your Free Pregnancy Clarity Session here.

You can also recieve our video series on the 7 Secrets to Child Birth here.

Tara x

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