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How is labor/birth when you are older?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm just curious how your labor and birth went you were older?  Does it get harder?  Or if you've had previous children, is it easier?

 

Although I hate to use the term "easy" to refer to the birth process, as we know it is NOT, but in the big scheme of things my first two pregnancies and deliveries were fairly easy and uncomplicated.  My first labor was roughly 4 hours from the first contraction, and the second one was probably around 8 hours.  But my last one was eight years ago and I was in my 20's.  I know I'm not that old now, but I'll be 34 when this one comes and I just feel like I'm in a completely different territory.  My health isn't what is was, and  I'm not in as good of shape.  Does a history of quick, uncomplicated births last into older years, or do things change as we change?


Edited by heldt123 - 10/1/13 at 10:21am
post #2 of 21

I had four kids, first I was 18 and the last I was almost 35. Each birth was harder and more painful than the last. I was completely exhausted during my last birth, and it wasn't even long, but I had had 3 weeks of prodromal labor.

 

Yet many other women, older than me, have smooth, peaceful births.

post #3 of 21

I will say though, my last pregnancy was the best, besides the last 3 weeks full of prodromal labor. I had so much energy, my house was spotless, I cooked and froze several meals. I could have used ALOT more help after the birth, for almost the first month. I had a really hard time recovering, and it was a non-eventful homebirth. I doubt it was age-related, but I was so worn-down!

post #4 of 21

With my first I was 31 and total labour was 8 hrs. I'll be 34 too when #2 arrives and I'm hoping it will go pretty quickly too!

 

I think some of it definitely has to do with baby positioning, if they're not in a good spot then I'm sure it can prolong labour. Though DD had her head titled and it was still fast for a first labour IMO so...

post #5 of 21

I've heard second labors are shorter than first labors. I don't know if they are *easier* or how "older mothers" (not that I think you're old) factor into that.

post #6 of 21
I had a very easy first pregnancy and birth in my mid 30s. I labored for 3 hours and had an easy, uncomplicated, natural birth.

I developed a risk factor between the two, so my second birth, in my early 40s, was not as easy but went quickly, with labor only about an hour, and outside of the expected problems, nothing else happened. The pregnancy in my 40s was more difficult.
post #7 of 21

I had my first at 20 years and had a 17.5 hr labor that was very difficult, but successful, at home.  Now I am pregnant with my 2nd and I am 36.  I am definitely not in as good of shape (40 lbs. hevaier).  I see a chiropractor every week who is trained in the Webster method to help keep my hips and pelvis in the right place for the easiest birth possible.  I am really hoping this makes a difference!

 

Other moms I know say each labor gets a little shorter, but not necessarily "easier."  I think that's a really relative term.  I have been sick almost every week of this 15 week pregnancy (so far) with either a head cold or some kind of virus, so I haven't been exercising as much as I would like.  I think pre-labor fitness and chiro care is probably the best way to prepare, so I had really better get going with my fitness!

post #8 of 21

Hmm, my first was very long and exhausting, yet I was in fantastic physical health/shape (was almost 27 yrs old), my second and third were extremely fast and "easy" (1.5 hrs start to finish of active labor).  Even with 3 children ages 4 and younger my recovery was quick with the last one (I was 30 yrs old).  We'll see how I feel with our fourth - I'll likely be 33/34 when that happens  ;) 

post #9 of 21

I have had 6 births, then 2 miscarriages, now pregnant again at age 41. My last 3 births have been natural, with the last two being homebirths. I have to say the births themselves have gotten easier, both physically and mentally, as I am so much less intimidated by the birth process by this point, and know what to expect. But the pregnancies have gotten more difficult as I am just totally worn out/exhausted, knocked for a loop, and seem to get so much less done.

post #10 of 21

At 36 years old I am currently pregnant with number 7. My first was born a month after I turned 20 and my youngest was born a couple of months before I turned 34. The most recent birth was A LOT harder than the first, although it was still a homebirth with no complications, I just felt like it was harder on my body. But I don't really know if it's the age of the number of kids that I have had that makes it harder.

post #11 of 21

I think it's different every time. I was induced for my first at 30, and the whole experience was so  horrific that I'm still surprised that I went through another pregnancy afterwards! I had my second at 33, and that was incredibly fast - 45 mins start to finish, we barely made it to the hospital. The "easiest" by far was my third when I was 37 .... I felt more in control of the birth, more aware of what my body was doing, and was better able to articulate what I needed (and what worked/what didn't) to the midwives. Good luck .... and don't panic :-)

post #12 of 21

I had my first baby at 32 so I can't compare as far as harder/easier than when you are younger, but I will say I was shocked by how long my recovery was and I think age had something to do with it. All I heard before I gave birth was how quick and easy recovery was from a natural birth compared to a c-section or a birth with an epidural but that was not the case for me.  I had a quick, relatively easy, uncomplicated homebirth but I was sore/swollen for the full six week recovery period and I had joint pain and lingering hip/pelvic/lower back soreness for a full year after my baby was born.  And I am in great shape and very fit - I run, do yoga, ski, snowboard, hike, etc., am very active and remained so throughout my pregnancy.  I have just never had body pain like I did after my son was born in all of my life.  It was almost like I made too much relaxin or something - my joints stayed very loose and painful until my son self-weaned at 17 months.  It got depressing after a while, I really wondered if I had ruined my body in some way, not appearance-wise but actually from a physical standpoint.  Luckily I feel great now and we are thinking about TTC #2 but I can't help but wonder if my recovery would have been easier in my twenties...

post #13 of 21

Had my first at 30. Induced, no complication vaginal birth. 7.5 hours, 45 minutes of pushing. Wasn't too bad, but what did I know? Slow as hell recovery.

 

Two and half years later. Spontaneous, vaginal, twin birth. 7.5 hours. Twin A=2 pushes. Twin B=1.5 pushes. If the OB had a better grip on her it would have been one push. Fabulous Labor! Started slow, stayed slow, last hour moved QUICK. Went from 6 to 10 in one contraction. Super fast delivery. 17 minutes between A and B. Spent 15 of that, twiddling my thumbs, listening to my older daughter cry across the room, and resting. Best of the bunch. Recovered faster than the last.

 

Almost four years after that. I'm 37, spontaneous, vaginal, singleton birth. 6.5 hours. Started slow, about 3 hours in my water broke. It got intense after that. Got into an argument with the Midwife at one point. Another really fast delivery. 9lb baby. Two pushes. Recovery smoother still. (I also took better care of myself than I did after the first)

 

HTH

post #14 of 21

" I had a quick, relatively easy, uncomplicated homebirth but I was sore/swollen for the full six week recovery period and I had joint pain and lingering hip/pelvic/lower back soreness for a full year after my baby was born."

 

ME TOO!!!!! I had four children in my 20s and the recovery was easy. My fifth child was born in March when i was 41 and I felt healthier than ever when I got pregnant, did yoga, hiking, belly dancing, excellent diet, planned and deeply wanted pregnancy, etc. I had a four hour labor/homebirth with no complications but a lot of pain, and was actually diagnosed with a separated pubic bone from which I am still disabled and recovering 7 months later. I wonder if it is just due to age and this being my fifth child. The pain you describe is not normal, and I would advise anyone having severe pain past the first few days to see a Dr immediately and not wait 6 weeks like I did. :(

post #15 of 21

Mother of three here (8yr old, 5yr old, 13month old). I would have to say that having our daughter at 33 went a lot faster than the other two boys. All were 100% natural without any medical intervention. I know that each birth is different and each birthing couple (mom and baby) journey through this uniquely.  If you already haven't, I would suggest Birthing From Within.  Enjoy your process :namaste

post #16 of 21

I am pregnant with #6 at 31.  This has been the hardest pregnancy physically, but I'm hoping labor goes as easy as the first 5!

post #17 of 21
I was 30 with my first and I had a very easy pregnancy except for pelvic pain, which I saw a chiropractor weekly to address. 36 hour tough labor, born vaginally. Slow recovery mostly due to extensive tearing and stitching. Second pregnancy 33 years old, perfect pregnancy with no negative symptoms at all. 1 hour labor (very intense, but heck, it was only an hour!) that ended up being an accidental homebirth because we were taken by surprise.2 stitches and a very very fast recovery. If there is a third, I have no idea what to expect.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy Magpie View Post

I think it's different every time. I was induced for my first at 30, and the whole experience was so  horrific that I'm still surprised that I went through another pregnancy afterwards! I had my second at 33, and that was incredibly fast - 45 mins start to finish, we barely made it to the hospital. The "easiest" by far was my third when I was 37 .... I felt more in control of the birth, more aware of what my body was doing, and was better able to articulate what I needed (and what worked/what didn't) to the midwives. Good luck .... and don't panic :-)

I had such a similar experience! I was scared the first time because I had never done it before, I was scared the second time because I couldn't comprehend how I was in such mind altering pain after being in labor for 15 minutes (I was in transition - had zero "active" labor, just went right to transition and pushing 30 minutes later).

I feel like if I have a third that I will be much better prepared for anything that happens and so much more confident in my body.
post #19 of 21

I'm curious about this too. I had my first at 28 in a very easy homebirth. I'll be just shy of 35 with this one, and I'm hoping to have a labor that's similar to the first. I'm actually much stronger and in much better shape than I was for the last pregnancy, thanks to working out.

I think this pregnancy may be a tiny bit harder than the last one, but it's hard to tell. I think with my last one I refused to admit that I felt tired and sick, and slacked off a lot instead (I remember my house getting horrifically messy). This pregnancy, I'm much more aware of my body and much more ready to admit that I'm tired at 9:30 p.m. and go to bed crazy early.

post #20 of 21

I've had five natural labors.  My third labor was the most painful (age 27), my fourth was almost pain free (age 30) and in my fifth (age 32) I was the most intimidated at the very end and felt I couldn't go on.  I haven't seen a trend up or down, every birth has been so different!

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