Labor and birth is so beautifully unique, no two women labor in exactly the same way.
While most labor experiences are expected to be anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, many women experience labor and delivery in what seems like the blink of an eye.
Wait a second…isn’t a speedy labor and delivery what I want?
Well sort of! A swift and healthy labor and delivery is always the goal, however proceeding through the stages of labor too quickly can cause some unexpected craziness in your home, hospital or birth center.
What is precipitous birth?
This fast labor is known as precipitous labor and occurs when labor and delivery happen in a speedy 3 hours. This might seem like a dream birth to many nervous new moms but can be stressful and chaotic in the moment. With your labor doula by your side as you navigate your precipitous birth, you and your partner can remain confident and empowered from the start.
What can cause a birth to be rapid or precipitous?
Many precipitous births occur in women who have had children before and often when there is a history of prior rapid labor. If the uterus and birth canal are particularly strong it can also speed up the labor process and produce stronger and more efficient contractions. When the baby is smaller it can also speed up the labor process a little more than usual. Expectant parents often think they have more time than they actually do and little ones make their big appearance
A Doula’s Role in a Rapid Birth
A rapid birth can be an emotionally trying experience and having a doula with you through the journey is a sigh of relief. With the stages of labor progressing so rapidly, it can leave women struggling to find the right coping strategies and leave parents feeling out of control. Your doula is there to restore that balance and help parents regain control. From arriving to your birth location safely to help understanding what phase you’re in, a doula is that breath of fresh air that helps you feel that sense of calm as you navigate and ammend your birth plan on the fly.
The partner of a rapidly laboring woman may feel insecure about their place in the process, confused about how to help or might not have the opportunity to participate in the same way they might have expected to be. Your doula is there to reassure your partner, empower them as well and keep your family on track with the process. Comfort measures and controlled breathing help the mother relax and doulas encourage the partner to participate with these comfort strategies at their own comfort level.
In some cases, labor happens so quickly that family members and even the partner of the birthing parent may not make it to the birth and a doula is there to step in and help facilitate the process in their absence. You hear about babies being born quickly and in unexpected places and it seems like the last thing to expect but we’ve learned to always expect the unexpected. Doulas help parents find physical and emotional focus in a frenzy to help their rapid birth be a healthy and rewarding experience.
Rapid birth comes with it’s fair share of challenges but with the right support system in place, even a speedy birth can be empowering.
While we may not be able to expect every twist and turn on the road ahead, having your doula on board can keep you feeling in control and navigating your birth through every step along the way.