Birth of the second child: is it really faster?

A baby has its own pace: sometimes the birth is quicker, sometimes it takes longer. Many mothers are of the opinion that the child takes the most time with the first birth – and the second is much faster. But is that true?

The birth of the first child heralds a new, very special phase of life. Everything is new, everything is exciting – and the mother-to-be has a lot of questions running through her head: What’s going on in the hospital? What is happening to my body? How exactly is the birth going? And what comes after that?

The body and the second birth

A first-time mother does not know what to expect. Reading about a birth is different from experiencing it firsthand. An average first birth lasts on average between 12 and 14 hours. But there are also cases in which it is much faster or takes longer – a generally binding statement can therefore not be made here.

The situation is similar with the second birth. However, there are a few differences here that affect birth—and its speed. First of all: The processes of a birth are well known, so the mother knows what to expect. That gives her a sense of security. She’s not as nervous as she was before she was born. Even though she knows that giving birth involves a lot of effort, she knows what to expect.

Birth of the second child: the rule of thumb

But not only the mother remembers the birth of the first child, her body also draws on the experience: the birth canal has been stretched before, so that the cervix now opens faster  and the baby can get through the pelvis more quickly. In addition, the dam can be stretched better. A midwife can therefore do without an episiotomy more easily than with the first birth.

Although there is no specific rule or general statistic on the speed of the second birth, it is said that the birth of the second child takes about seven hours on average. As a rough rule of thumb, however, you can use the first birth as a guide: If the birth of the first child went quickly, there is a good chance that the birth of the second child will also progress quickly.

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