What’s the average labor time for first baby?

Congratulations, you are pregnant! You’ve probably heard a lot of scary stories about labor and delivery, but don’t worry – this is where I come in. In this article, we will delve into the world of labor and birth to answer one very important question: what’s the average labor time for a first baby?

Understanding Labor Time

To begin with, it’s essential we understand what exactly “labor time” means. It refers to the length of time between when contractions start and when your baby is born. This period can vary from mother to mother due to various factors such as age, genetics or lifestyle; however keep in mind that no matter how long it takes or painful it may be (and let’s face it folks…it’s pretty freaking painful) , every woman’s experience during childbirth is unique.

How Long Does Labor Typically Last For A First-time Mom?

Alright then ladies (and gentlemen), grab your partner because here comes some useful information – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that “labor lasts approximately 12-18 hours for a first-time mom”. Hey don’t blame me if it sounds like forever! Believe me though when I say that once you’re holding that precious bundle of joy in your arms, all those hours will definitely be worth it.

Don’t forget though, other things could also pose significant influence, which include the chosen pain relief methods used by mothers-to-be (ahem epidural) along with their medical history including body mass index and any underlying illnesses they may have. Also take note while most women experience quicker labors on future pregnancies, remember each pregnancy varies greatly…so just because someone else has been through an extremely easy/simply magical/ great childbirthing experience doesn’t mean yours won’t require its own level dedication.

Stages Of Labor

Another thing to be aware of is that labor occurs in three main stages, each with its own unique set of symptoms and contractions. Let’s take a quick look at what those three stages are:

First Stage:

The first stage usually lasts the longest (5-28 hours) as this is where your body prepares itself for delivery by softening up your cervix (sounds fun doesn’t it) while beginning early contractions until true active labor starts.

Second Stage:

When blessed with a clear bill of health for you and baby, we continue on to second stage – this normally lasts around 20 an hour in which “pushing” commences culminiating wonderfully once your baby finally arrives!

Third Stage:

This if often referred too as “afterbirth”. During this period, you might finally realize how messy childbirth can actually get when you deliver the placenta – You may not necessarily care about the after-birth details but please..please…just make sure you PUSH/YELL/SCREAM enough at least during the actual birthing process!

Factors That Affect Labor Time

As mentioned earlier factors such age, genetics or lifestyle play a very strong role regarding the length/time taken during labour however there’s more than meets just that eye. Some additional considerations could include;

  • The Position Of Your Baby
    In some cases,your doctor might suggest trying different positions or inducing labour should they feel delivery needs speeding up. This could help progress things faster helping reduce time spent pushing thus lessening complications during birth.

  • Use Of Epidurals Or Other Pain Medications
    Pain relieving procedures namely epidural injections delay progression due to being administered through IV (basically made directly into one’s veins)

I cannot emphasize enough,- check what works best for YOU! If you feel able then do it without pain relief – However sometimes epidurals can help reduce stress and anxiety..

And let’s not forget, maintaining normal vital statistics like healthy weight throughout pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean your labor time will be shorter however ensures a safer healthier journey for both mommy & daddy dearest (talking from personal experience here Moms to be).


There you have it. The average length of labour usually lasts around 12-18 hours out of which the first stage takes the most amount of time encompassing approximately 5-28 hours followed by second stage lasting only an hour with pushing starting until baby is born while third stage (famous “afterbirth”) comes lastly–last but definitely not least…

Don’t panic though– remember your body knows what its doing! Listen to advice (excluding bedside counseling provided by midwives’ YouTube channel )from medical professionals closest to you.

Ultimately take home message when it comes to childbirth – read up on as many informational pieces as possible however trust the expertise that lie in one’s physicians shoulders because ultimately they perform this dance daily –dance meaning dishing out newborns all day every day – It would almost seem as if they were born merely to deliver babies!

So set back relax rely on all those breathing techniques worked during antenatal classes/coffee mornings – NOW …cross fingers tight (figuratively speaking)and hope/pray or whatever tickles ones fancy – This beautiful, sticky loveable bundle should arrive soon enough..cheesy smile & grateful heart.