Women Experience Longer Labor Today

According to the analysis of National Institute of Health researchers, pregnant women today have longer labors than women did 50 years ago. First-time mothers had an average of 2.6 hours added time during labor as compared to women who only had 4 hours of labor, 50 years ago. Also, women who had multiple labors also had increased labor time by an average of 2 hours.

Researchers found that longer labors today were primarily due to changes in the delivery practices used today.

According to Dr. Michael Cabbad, "during active labor, women were placed on monitoring devices which they didn't had back in the '60s. They were given IV fluid for hydration, which tend to slowdown labor. These women were also placed in bed which reduced mobility, another way of slowing down the labor process.

Although the study didn't take into account the anxiety levels of women in labor, Cabbad speculates that it could play a role in the labor process. "People were more relaxed about labor and the process of childbirth 50 years ago," he added.

This was published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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