What is the definition of a precipitous birth? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 27 Old 07-09-2010, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
jennica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been reading up on precipitous births. One definition says that it is a birth that lasts less than 3 hours from first contraction to birth. Another says that it is a birth that lasts less than 3 hours from active labor (4 centimeters) to birth.

The reason I wonder is that my birth with Ds was 6 hours total, from first contraction to birth. But, when I got to the hospital I was dilated to 3, and he was born three hours later. So active labor was less than three hours, one of which I was stuck at 9.5 and 30 minutes of pushing. So I dilated really rapidly from 3 to 9.5 in 1.5 hours.

I am due to have my baby at the end of this month. My midwife thinks I will have a labor the same length as last time. From what I read about precipitous birth though, only 2% of women have one and the biggest risk factor is already having had one. Also, it is very rare for a first time mom to have one.

If I didn't technically have a precipitous birth last time, I think I came pretty close for a first time mom. So, I'm wondering what the technical definition of a precipitous birth is and why there are two definitions floating around out there? Also, what do you think - will I have a labor roughly the same length, or much shorter?
jennica is offline  
#2 of 27 Old 07-09-2010, 04:57 PM
 
laurata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Settling in the Sound
Posts: 1,184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Perhaps its because of the variation in progression? I know some moms who have prodomal laboring, but when it finally kicks in, they birth in just an hour or two. Other moms walk around dialated for weeks before labor finally kicks in...

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
laurata is offline  
#3 of 27 Old 07-09-2010, 06:10 PM
 
kltroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, whether it was or it wasn't doesn't really matter. Sounds like you birth babies relatively quickly. I think your MW is probably right - most women I know who had fast first births also had fast subsequent births. Lucky you!

Mom to James (ribboncesarean.gif 5/2006), Claire (vbac.gif 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis. 

kltroy is offline  
#4 of 27 Old 07-09-2010, 08:04 PM
 
triscuitsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Between Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 1,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The second definition makes me laugh because I don't know anyone who would consider my births precipitous. I had 47 hours of labour (contractions 5-6 minutes apart to start and just kept getting closer together, never farther apart) the first time, and the second time was 18 hours from first contraction to birth. Not quick IMO.

But the first time I went from 4cm-complete in less than an hour and I pushed for 20 minutes. So I'd meet the less than 3 hour time frame there.

The second I went from 4cm to him in my arms in 15 minutes. So yeah definitely there.

But I think it depends on why you are defining it. I've heard people talking about it in terms of midwife being able to get there for a homebirth or being able to get to the hospital for a hospital birth. Despite the fact I would qualify under the second definition I had tons of time to prepare for birth so the end part going quickly doesn't really matter that much if that makes sense.

If you are looking at it from a physiological, effects on Mom and baby point of view then yes, the second definition makes sense because certainly there was no slow stretching of tissues for me especially in my second birth. He was high too right up until the end. Came out with no visible molding at all, just this perfect little round head that had people asking if I'd had a c-section with him.

As for whether it is likely to happen again I don't think there is any way to know that until baby is here and it's over. I'd just have a plan in place that you are comfortable with for either possibility

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
triscuitsmom is offline  
#5 of 27 Old 07-10-2010, 12:46 AM
 
donutmolly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Crunchyville
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My mw did not count my 2nd birth as precipitous, because her definition was from first contraction to birth less than 3 hours, and my labor was 3 hours and 5 minutes.

With my 3rd, we were all prepared for the mw to race here at the first contraction. And instead, I ended up doing a castor oil induction at 42 weeks, it took awhile for contractions to establish a pattern and I ended up with my longest labor so far (7 hours...), so while I agree it's good to be prepared for a quick birth -- it's also a good idea to be mentally prepared for a longer labor!

Mama to 4 girls    chicken3.gif5/05, 12/07, 9/09, 3/11   winner.jpghomeschool.gifhomebirth.jpg

donutmolly is offline  
#6 of 27 Old 07-10-2010, 11:49 AM
 
Galatea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 7,069
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
I'd say who cares about the definition - your first birth was very fast for a first birth, and I'd be prepared for an even quicker second.

I was 26 hours with #1, 2 hours with #2, and 3 hours with #3. The mad dash to the hospital with #2 was the reason we decided on a HB for #3.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
Galatea is online now  
#7 of 27 Old 07-12-2010, 03:44 AM
 
HeatherB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sugar Land, there is no equal
Posts: 9,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
If it has any bearing on liability for the MW, I'd say your labor was non-precipitous. For some MWs in some places, it could potentially be a risk-out issue. Certainly, you're in a gray zone with the definitions.

My last labor was similar to triscuitsmom's. Loooong, slow, "dysfunctional" (not a term used by my MW, thank goodness!), "semi-active" (the term she did use) labor, turned "precipitous" when my water broke at 6cm and "tight." Seventeen minutes later, I was holding him! Not entirely sure when I hit 4cm but it's *possible* that was within 3 hours of the birth (I just don't remember now). Still, not a classic precipitous story.

I would certainly expect that you might labor quickly again, and have your MW prepared for that (sounds like she is!). Otherwise, there's probably not much to worry about.

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.

HeatherB is offline  
#8 of 27 Old 07-14-2010, 12:20 AM
 
scottishmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: in a little apartment
Posts: 1,095
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been wodering the same thing about dds(1st) birth. I had a sort of strange pattern. I labored at home for 2.5 hours, got to the hospital at 8 centimeters and then it took 2 hours to get to 10 centimeters. The labor totally slowed down. Weird.

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
scottishmommy is offline  
#9 of 27 Old 07-14-2010, 08:24 AM
 
triscuitsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Between Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 1,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
I've been wodering the same thing about dds(1st) birth. I had a sort of strange pattern. I labored at home for 2.5 hours, got to the hospital at 8 centimeters and then it took 2 hours to get to 10 centimeters. The labor totally slowed down. Weird.
I don't think that is an uncommon response to being out of your own environment. For some women it's stronger than others (for some women it stops their labour completely).

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
triscuitsmom is offline  
#10 of 27 Old 07-14-2010, 11:35 AM
 
August09baby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first labor was about 7 hours start to finish.

My second was...no labor, water breaks, one contraction, out come babies. Less than 20 minutes start to finish.

While nothing is ever certian I think that if you had a short labor the first time it is best to prepare for a shorter birth the second time around1

Mama to DS 10/06, DD & DS 08/09
August09baby is offline  
#11 of 27 Old 07-14-2010, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
jennica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for all the responses! I guess it doesn't matter how it is defined, though it looks like it's probably from first contraction to birth. Either way, I am expecting a fast labor again. I really don't want a fast labor though and am not looking forward to it. It was far too intense and too painful for me to keep up with, and that was 6 hours, I just can't imagine anything less than that. But I am trying to prepare for the possibility, and also hoping for at least 6 hours again!
jennica is offline  
#12 of 27 Old 01-20-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Bunny Olesen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

OH my god.  My water broke on February 1st, went directly to hospital, baby wasn't born until February 5th.  By then moved to birthing room and over 24 HOURS of labor.  I hate you.  XD XD ROTFLMAO.gif  Seriously though.  Here's MY description of precipitous birth.  LUCKY !!!

 

I haven't read any of the other answers but honestly for true "precipitous birth" I think there has to be a problem that makes the baby almost literally shoot out.   In one story I read, a 7 months pregnant woman in India was on a train and went to the toilet (which on trains in India is just a hole or chute that leads directly onto the tracks (ew) and instead of peeing or pooping the baby just fell out, literally.  HAPPY ENDING though the child did survive.  I think true precipitous births are related to pregnancy complications.

YOU just sound like a fast baby delivery system.  ENJOY !! 

 

My baby only weighted 5 lbs & 4 ozs and could barely get out (still had to have an

episiotomy OW) anyway it was just neverending, I really truly do envy you.

 

Hey if you still read this site, any updates on the second delivery of your beautiful baby ?  :D

 

Bunny Olesen is offline  
#13 of 27 Old 01-20-2012, 05:59 PM
 
XanaduMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SE PDX
Posts: 2,837
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica View Post

Thanks for all the responses! I guess it doesn't matter how it is defined, though it looks like it's probably from first contraction to birth. Either way, I am expecting a fast labor again. I really don't want a fast labor though and am not looking forward to it. It was far too intense and too painful for me to keep up with, and that was 6 hours, I just can't imagine anything less than that. But I am trying to prepare for the possibility, and also hoping for at least 6 hours again!


My first was 3.5 hours from first contraction to baby: crazy intense. #2 was somewhat longer--7 hours from ROM to baby--but only about the last hour of that (active labor?) was hard work. The longer labor was SO much easier to deal with...not to mention the fact that I was at home, in an infinitely more peaceful environment. So I wish you the same!


read.gifSarah ~ wild.gifds X 12/05 ~ flower.gifdd E 3/08 h20homebirth.gif  ~  stork-suprise.gif 7/12 dizzy.gif

XanaduMama is offline  
#14 of 27 Old 01-21-2012, 03:44 AM
 
cappuccinosmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: SW Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

FWIW, my last two weren't technically precipitous, but close--4 hours from start to finish.

 

And in terms of pain, they were very different, so maybe you will luck out this time.  One of those for me was intense *and* painful, major back labor.  Ouch.  The other was very intense, but I don't remember it as painful.

cappuccinosmom is offline  
#15 of 27 Old 01-21-2012, 11:14 AM
 
savithny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

On my chart, my second birth is described as "Precipitous second stage."  I went from 5-ish cms to giving birth in under an hour, probably most of it was in the last few minutes of that hour.   I got into the tub at 5cms, and an hour later, as my backache was geting worse, told DH to pull the cord for the nurse "because something feels different."   Just as he did that, I had a full-on fetal ejection reflex -- my water broke, I stood up (at exactly that moment) and baby just fell into crowning position. 

 

But it's not officially a precipitous *birth* because I labored on and off with noticeable contractions for the better part of a day.   

 

My coworker's wife had a real precipitious birth -- something like 30 minutes from her first noticeable contraction to giving birth on the bathroom floor.   Baby was 3 weeks early and had difficulty getting started, too.... in their case doctors guess she came out because she was not doing well inside.


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

savithny is offline  
#16 of 27 Old 01-28-2012, 01:42 PM
 
xnwife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: California
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would be prepared for a fast birth next time. My first son's labor was 4 hours start to finish (but I was induced because of medical issues) however I was having silent contractions that I wasn't aware of and was already basically in labor anyways. I thought my labor progressed fast because of the pitocin, but a L&D nurse told me that nope, it was probably just me. Sure enough she was right. My labor with my second son was 3 hours start to finish. By the time I figured out I was in labor, I was progressing very fast. We checked into triage at 5:30 and I was at a 4 and 45 minutes later I was a 10 and out came baby. It was very fast and very intense.  The second baby always comes faster then the first, so definitely keep that in mind and good luck! You will do great.


Lindsey: wife to Noah, Mom to Ethan 5 and Jonathan 2,  Baby Boy #3 due May 2012, 7 angels

xnwife is offline  
#17 of 27 Old 03-15-2012, 09:34 PM
 
umsami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Capital City
Posts: 10,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've had two....induced for kids #1 and #3...,but precipitous for my two natural births.

DS2..,9+ pounds...came in 2-1/2 hours....start to finish.

DS4....8 pounds...came in 40 minutes....start to finish.

When I got to the hospiral with #4...they didn't think I was in active labor. Things progressed very quickly...and he was out 20 min later. I had a feeling that I could repeat...so tried to get there as soon as I felt noticable contractions.

My experience is that contractions are VERY strong....as bad as pitocin...and no rest in between...but...over very quickly.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

umsami is offline  
#18 of 27 Old 03-17-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Cheshirepat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We just had our first child on Sunday.  The medical staff called my wife's birth "precipitous".  She had her water break as the first sign of labor, contractions started an hour later.  The whole thing lasted 7.5 hours with about 45 min to 1 hour of actual pushing.

Cheshirepat is offline  
#19 of 27 Old 03-17-2012, 01:29 PM
 
Cheshirepat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We just had our first child on Sunday.  The medical staff called my wife's birth "precipitous".  She had her water break as the first sign of labor, contractions started an hour later.  The whole thing lasted 7.5 hours with about 45 min to 1 hour of actual pushing.

Cheshirepat is offline  
#20 of 27 Old 03-19-2012, 08:34 AM
 
member234098's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Behind you.
Posts: 3,348
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Q
member234098 is offline  
#21 of 27 Old 03-20-2012, 01:31 AM
 
Plummeting's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It's less than 3 hours from the start of contractions to delivery, not from 4 cm dilated to delivery. :) Cheshirepat's wife's labor should definitely not have been called a precipitous labor, if it was 6 hours from the first real labor contraction to birth. My experience with a precipitous labor (water broke, no contractions, contractions lasted for 52 minutes until baby was out) was like umsami's: no rest, extremely intense, over quickly. I would prepare for a precipitous labor if I were you. My first labor lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes from first contraction I noticed to baby in arms (not meeting the definition of precipitous labor). My second one lasted 52 minutes from first contraction I noticed to baby in arms. I'm prepared for another one this time, but things can always change. My mom had 2 precipitous labors (2 hours for the first and 45 minutes for the second) followed by one labor that lasted 8 hours and one that lasted 32 hours.

Plummeting is offline  
#22 of 27 Old 04-11-2012, 03:37 PM
 
mforeback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm pregnant with my first, but my mother's experiences were:

 

1 hour 30 min, start to finish with me (second baby), I was born 10 min after getting to the hospital. The OB on call literally walked into the room, put on gloves, caught me as I came out, handed me up to my mother with a "congrats", then stripped off his gloves and walked out saying, "Well that's the fastest money I ever made". lol.gif

 

My little sister took about 1 hour 15 min.

 

Can't say I know too much about my older sister's birth though.

mforeback is offline  
#23 of 27 Old 04-13-2012, 05:08 PM
 
OkiMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I was told less than three hours from first contraction to birth..

Ive had two: my second daughter was 1 1/2 hours from first contraction to birth. My son was little less than 3 hours from first contraction to birth.


~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
OkiMom is offline  
#24 of 27 Old 04-14-2012, 01:08 AM
 
Plummeting's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by OkiMom View Post

I was told less than three hours from first contraction to birth..



Yeah, it really has to be that way because there's just no way to always know when someone hits 4 centimeters. Some women come in already at 4 centimeters, some women come in at 0 and still have a baby 3 hours later. The I think the only reason there's a name for it at all is because it comes with certain risks, and those risks probably don't have a lot to do with whether you were already 4 cm when you started labor or you weren't dilated at all. For instance, the risks to the baby really aren't going to have anything to do with how much you still needed to dilate. Those have to do with how long the baby is experiencing labor contractions, which help to get all that fluid out of the lungs, how much time the baby has to rotate properly, and things like that. Those things won't be affected by how many cm mom was or wasn't dilated once she had that first "REAL" labor contraction. I'm not sure if things like the risk of PPH would be, though. I'd guess no, but I don't really know.

Plummeting is offline  
#25 of 27 Old 10-01-2012, 04:52 AM
 
pixie401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

my 1st child born 13mins from very first pain  second child born 8mins from 1st pain and was delivered breech  my 3rd child born 5mins from first pain  all home births  ....... daughters  labour  32mins from first pain born at home breech  

pixie401 is offline  
#26 of 27 Old 10-01-2012, 04:54 AM
 
pixie401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

my 1st child born 13mins from very first pain  second child born 8mins from 1st pain and was delivered breech  my 3rd child born 5mins from first pain  all home births  ....... daughters  labour  32mins from first pain born at home breech  

pixie401 is offline  
#27 of 27 Old 10-02-2012, 08:53 AM
 
Ms Rabbit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

With my first son, my water broke at 3pm, I felt my first (mild) contraction around 5:30pm, was checked into the hospital at 7pm around 3-4cm and he was born at 8:38. So from first contraction to birth was 3 hours. The term 'precipitous' wasn't mentioned at all, but my mw did comment that she had never seen a first time mom deliver as fast as I had (was he delivered in 1 push). DS1's heart rate dropped quite low, I had 3rd degree tearing and p.p. hemorrhaging, mw said mainly due to how fast and furious everything was.

 

With DS2 (different midwives), the term precipitous was thrown around a lot in the weeks leading up to my birth. I felt my first contraction at 9:30, called the midwives at 9:45 and he was born at 11:13 (about 10 minutes after they arrived!). 'Precipitous birth' was marked on my file, and DS2's heart rate dropped a bit as well (though not nearly as low as DS1).


Happy wife of Mr. Rabbit; proud momma to DS1 (07.07.09), DS2 (02.11.11) and expecting baby #3 01.27.13.

 

Ms Rabbit is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off