What causes a long labour?

It's a question many women would love to have the answer to, so that they could follow the magic recipe and have a shorter labour. A Norwegian study has found that women who fear childbirth spend more than an hour longer in labour than those who are not afraid of birth.

Between 5% and 20% women are fearful of childbirth. Researchers found that women with a fear of childbirth spent one hour and 32 minutes longer in labour than women with no such fear.  Average labour duration was 8 hours for women with fear of childbirth compared to 6.46 hours (which equals 6 hours and 28 minutes) for women without fear.

The study also found that women with fear of childbirth more often gave birth by instrumental vaginal delivery (17.0% versus 10.6%) or emergency caesarean delivery (10.9% versus 6.8%) as compared to women without fear of childbirth.

Private midwives work very closely with women, one-to-one, to help women explore and release their fears.  Techniques such as Calmbirth are also very effective at releasing fear.  Ultimately, when a woman is cared for by a midwife she knows, trusts and feels safe with, she tends to be less fearful of the process of birth for which she is well prepared.

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