How Long Do Contractions Last

10 Replies
raye lynn - April 5

i am nervous being a first time preggo. I want to deliver natural as drugs scare me. i know the closer you get, the more frequent they are, but how long does each one last? a few minutes? seconds? constant? thanks.


hope - April 5

Believe you me, I said the same thing untill I went into labor. Get the epidural. I was in labor for 41 hours with my first. I pushed for 4 hours. then had to have forecepts delivery. I also had extreme back labor


raye lynn - April 5

i am sorry to hear about your trouble. However, I am not going to get an epidural based on the chance that my labor will be difficult. I dont want to be talked out of natural childbirth, its natural. Sorry to sound rude, i just get the "dont be a martyr- get the epidural- you dont have anything to prove" talk all the time. I am glad they are available to people who want to use them, but the thought of sticking a very large needle in my spine which could paralyze me if done improperly scares me MUCH more than having a natural childbirth. I am just trying to find out how long contractions last.


Cathy - April 5

In early labour contractions usually come every 10 - 20 mins and last around 20 - 30 seconds. Usually by the time you get to 4 cm they are coming around every 3 - 4 minutes and last about a minute. The closer to the end you get the closer together and longer they last for until they are almost constant (around 20 - 30 seconds apart) usually when they get like that you will be fully dialated and pushing. 0 - 1cm period pain like, irregular. You might not realise that your in labour. Back ache too. 2 - 3cm The pain is worse but they will probably still be irregular. 4 - 5cm They are usually coming regularly and lasting around 50 secoonds to a minute 6 - 8cm Things can slow down here but they will still be lasting around a minute. 8 - 10cm These are usually the quickest cm's to dialate but are the hardest, the contractions are about 30 - 50 seconds apart and lasting a minute or more. Ive had a medicated birth and a drug free (apart from gas & air) birth and the drug free birth was so much better, I can honestly say I enjoyed it. For my next one I want a homebirth. Good luck :-) Cathy


? - April 5

contractions last Untill you give birth. They last abot 45 second to a minute but the longer you progress the STRONGER they come and then it's one right after another. They are intense and very hard to focus because of the pain.There is a risk in everything. It you want to suffer go ahead, women have epidurals every day.The risk is minimal. you'll want one if you get an episomity.Plus you can still feel labor it's not like your knocked out or anything. The needle is not large and it feels like a tiny pinch it takes all of 5 minutes.


raye lynn - April 5

Thank you Cathy and ?. ?, again, I am glad the option is out there for people who want them. However, I dont. There is risk in everything, but I am not willing to take them all. Childbirth is very natural and I choose to "suffer" as you put it. My 6 nieces and nephews were all born naturally. This is the only country that pushes drugs down your throat at every turn. There are MANY people who have had both and prefer natural. Cathy, thanks for the support.


nina - April 6

i was also scared of the drugs but they have them for a reason but contractions last about 60-90 sec but once you get really far along you have alot of pressure in between keep your mind right and you'll be fine


Cathy - April 6

Your welcome Raye lynn. To be honest the pain gets easier to cope with the further into labour you get. Your mind becomes more focused and your body will release it's natural painkillers (endorphins) and it all gets a bit hazy. All you have to remember is the pain is for a good thing, every contraction you get through is one less until it is all over and it really is true what they say, when you hold your baby for the first time it will all seem like it just happened to someone else. I cant wait for no.3, 4, 5 ...... the only thing I'm worried about is getting my partner to agree hehe Cathy


Jill - April 9

I think raye lynn doesn't know what shes getting into I would love to hear from you after you have your baby. It really is the worst PAIN you'll ever go thruogh.


Cathy - April 10

It is the worst pain but it doesnt last forever and people cope with the pain differently. I had an epidural plus loads of other drugs when I had my son, I just couldnt cope with the pain and became very distressed and scared. With my daughter I was at home for the majority of the labour because I was coping with the pain, when the pain became too much I went to the hospital expecting the midwife to say that I was around 3-4cm dialated because thats how far I was with my son when I couldnt cope with the pain any longer. If I hadnt have been on the bed I would have fell over with shock because it turned out I was 8cm dialated. I knew the last 2 cm were the quickest so I just had gas & air and found it helped just enough to get me through it and my daughter was a pretty big girl at 8lb 11oz, she also got stuck by the shoulders after her head was delivered (shoulder dystocia) If I'd have had an epidural she could have died or been left with brain damage. It was only because I could manouver myself into another postion quickly that she became unstuck and only suffered from shock. I would consider an epidural in the future but only as the very last resort. You will be suprised at how well you can cope with the pain if you stay calm. Cathy


mandy - April 22

it all depends on how far you are at the beginnin they will be often then they will be minutes and then maybe constant don't be worried just think about what you are doing you are bringing a whole new life into this world well done



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