An article (http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2012/04/03/moms-today-spend-two-more-hours-giving-birth-1960s/1176573) suggests that modern births last two hours longer than in 1960s. How can this be so? The process of birth hasn’t changed since the 1960s.
This is really a conseqnce of the way we care for women in labour today, as opposed to the 1960s. What has changed? I think the main difference is the rate of epidurals, which were seldom used in the 1960s but are now a common element of modern-day childbirth.
Epidurals are known to prolong labour, and often a woman who has received an epidural will also need to have her waters broken and a drip to speed the labour once the epidural thas taken effect.
Another aspect is the increase in inductions: it is well-known that when women start their labour on thei own, the labour tends to be faster and less painful than when midwives and obstetricians use medication to start the labour.
So the take-home message? Plan an active, drug-free birth, well-supported by your partner and midwife and you can expect an easier birth.
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