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How common is it to get stuck in transition for hours on end?

I remember in reading about labor and from my childbirth class that transition is supposed to be very fast, and it always was for me. But in the last 2 births I've heard about it hasn't been. In October my SIL had her 1st baby and was planning a homebirth. I don't remember how long everything took, but I got a call in the morning that she was at 8 cm, and I said the baby would be there really soon. She ended up stuck there for hours and hours. She tried walking stairs, they drove her to her grandmother's house so she could try a hot tub. And eventually ended up in the hospital. She did have him without any medical intervention once she was at the hospital. Then my best friend had her 1st baby 2 days ago. She went into the hospital around midnight and found out she was 9 cm dilated. You would think the baby would be born right away at that point, but she ended up with a C-section 12 hours later. Is this common? How often does this happen that someone gets stuck at the end of labor? It sounds so awful, I can hardly even imagine.


Asked by mybella81 at 11:58 AM on Feb. 10, 2011 in Pregnancy

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Answers (3)
  • I have never heard of this being a common thing in labor. However, I can see WHY it might happen to certain moms. Some women might become fearful or have anxiety once they realize how close their baby is to being to born. It might not even be a conscience thought, but subconsciously their bodies might be telling them "whoa, you're not ready for this baby to be born!" and halt things on it's own. I know it might sound weird, but I have even heard of a woman's cervix closing up a little after having already dilated due to anxiety or not being prepared for labor and delivery.

    Answer by MichaelsMom330 at 12:23 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • im due with my first in march so i cant speak from personal experience but my best friend with her second went in to be induced at 7 am got the meds at 930 got to 9cm at 1145 and had her daughter at 1159am...but i had another friend who went in to be induced at 4 am got stuck at 7 cm from noon to 645 pm and finally had a c section because the baby reversed position and had her daughter at 845 pm

    Answer by ahsot1230 at 12:12 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I have wondered if that's what happened to my SIL, since she was able to deliver him almost immediately once she got to the hospital, Maybe she had anxiety about giving birth at home and finally relaxed once she got to the hospital, I wonder if she subconciously felt safer. But I don't know for sure. And as for my friend who had the baby 2 days ago, she did get an epidural and I wonder if that caused labor to slow down or stop. There is no way of knowing though.

    Comment by mybella81 (original poster) at 12:38 PM on Feb. 10, 2011