If there is one tale mothers share in common, it is how long they were in labour, and how harrowing it was. The longer the hours, which can turn into days, the worse it sounds. Nobody wants to be in pain that long. Delivering the baby within the first few hours sounds like the best thing to ever happen to a woman. However, rapid labour has so many downsides.

Stages of labour

Labour can be divided into three main stages: early/active labour, delivery of the baby and delivery of the placenta. These three stages  often occur within a 6-18 hour window. If it happens in under 3 hours (some professionals put it at 5 hours), it is referred to as rapid labour or precipitous labour.

Having an underweight baby, history of rapid labour, very strong contractions and a particularly compliant birth canal are some of the factors that can contribute to precipitous labour.

Risks of rapid labour

Rapid labour may hinder your ability to get to the hospital or medical facility fast enough. Thus some women may end up delivering their babies in unsterile environment. This puts both mother and child into risk.

  • If complications occur in the process of precipitous labour, the mother and child is more at risk. More so, if they never made it to hospital. The absence of medical personnel during labour makes it hard to mitigate any birth complications and exposes the baby to infections.
  • Lacerations and tears  due to the speedy delivery.
  • Hemorrhaging or bleeding from the uterus or vagina
  • Given the short time the mother has to come to terms with the birth of her child, rapid labour might take a toll on the mother’s emotional health.
  • The baby might also suffer aspiration from amniotic fluid.

It is important to get in touch with your physician immediately on the onset of labour to prevent these risks.

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