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How do you measure how long you were in labor?

I see here and am asked often how long I was in labor, but I have no idea what to tell them. Do you count from the very first pain you felt and if so, which pains because I felt 2 different types of pains? or from the time you started pushing? or from the time you began dilating?
This may sound like a stupid question but when someone asks you that question, what do you go by?

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Asked by truthteller0722 at 11:23 PM on Aug. 5, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 19 (6,797 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I go by my first contraction... so I was in labor for...9 hours.
    Would've been a LOT earlier if my night nurse hadn't been trying to convince me for 4 frickin hours that I was NOT in labor, and no, we're not going to check your cervix, because I might go into labor.

    Answer by K_Sawyer at 11:26 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • I never really know either. some people have told me they count it from the time they went into the hospital, which makes no sense, what if you have a home birth? I consider myself to have been in labor for 12 hours with my daughter (starting with the first contractions, which really didn't even hurt) but I didn't really know when to go to the hospital and she was born about 25 minutes after I got there. So I count from the first regular contractions, which were painless both times. For my son it was about 28 hours. It's too confusing to figure it out any other way, it seemed like there were various stages of intesity that I went through both times but I can't remember when they started, I just know when the first contractions started.

    Answer by mybella81 at 11:34 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • I started counting when my water broke. I didn't feel contractions for about 4 hours later both times but that is when everything got going I would say. Then I really didn't consider the pushing part part of labor for some reason. So for my first I was in labor 9 hours and pushed for 45 min and my second I was in labor for 8 hours and pushed for 2 hours.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:35 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • I go by starting to feel contractions since I was induced I had cytotec and pitocin they started cytotec and 3:30pm and started contracting at 5ish and gave birth at 3:19pm the next day.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 11:50 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Oh yeah and they broke my water at one cm so yeah I hated being induced!

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 11:51 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • If I went by when my water broke that would mean I was in labor less then 10 minutes for the first 3! My water did not break until the very end, then after that they kinda fell out, lol. I know not funny to those who push for hours on end. If I went with first contraction to the end then it would be 12 hours for the first 3 and the last one was emergency c-section.

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 3:11 AM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • Well with my first my water broke 2 hours before I ever felt a contraction so when exactly did my labor start? With my second the water didn't break until her head came out! When someone asks I tell them I was in transition for about 2 hours for both kids and pushed 30 minutes with first and 60 minutes with second.

    Answer by aeneva at 7:48 AM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • Easy - none! My 3 boys were born by a scheduled c-section 10 days prior to due date. I don't do pregnant well.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 12:00 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • i just talked to my ob for this pregnancy and she asked me that question about my first 2 labors. i said do you want the time from the first contraction or the time from when the contractions were so intense i had to really focus on my breathing and relaxing. she told me the scond one. that makes 9 hours for my first birth and 3 for my second. makes sense to me. if i can go to dennys and eat and hang out with family then its not intense labor.

    Answer by trelimon at 1:00 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • That intense labor is transition labor and as I stated above that is the number I give people with the caveat that was transition labor time not overall labor time. I know many women who have regular contractions for days before transition hits. I have no idea when I started to dilate with either child because the first time I was checked I was already 5 or 6 cm.

    Answer by aeneva at 1:12 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

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