You are here

Giving Birth Again?

Childbirth the second or third time around can differ drastically from your first experience. Here are a few improvements you may notice, and one small drawback (though it’s still totally worth it!).

A faster labor and delivery.

Shorter window of opportunity for an epidural.

Fewer glitches.

Less chance of an episiotomy.

More intense after-pains.

Suzanne Stipe Persaud is a freelance writer.

Here’s that one bummer we warned you about. Remember those painful postpartum contractions you had after your last labor and delivery? They may be even stronger this time around. Since your uterus gets larger with subsequent births, you may need extra-strength squeezing to get it back to normal.
The soft tissues of your vagina already got stretched during your first birth, so you may be able to deliver without an incision to widen the opening.
Just because you had a delivery complication before, like a breech baby, doesn't mean it will happen again.
If you’re like many veteran moms, you may delay going to the hospital, and your labor may go faster too — which means you could miss your chance for an epidural. If you want one, be sure to say so as soon as you've checked in.
Good news: On average, second-time moms are in labor for eight hours—compared to the 14-hour average for first-timers. Why? If you've already had a baby, your cervix starts out softer and more prepared for childbirth.