Prolonged Labor

First most first-time pregnant mothers, labor last 12 to 18 hours.  Labor for subsequent pregnancies usually lasts 6 to 8 hours.  According to a recent study, approximately 1% of first-time pregant mothers experienced a labor lasting more than 20 hours.

Labor is divided into three stages:
  • First Stage:
From the start of labor through full dilation of the cervix.
  • Second Stage:
From full dilation through delivery.
  • Third Stage:
From delivery of the baby through delivery of the placenta.

In first time mothers, labor is considered "prolonged" when the first and second stages last more than 18 hours.  One cause for prolonged labor is malpresentation, such as when the fetus presents breech.  Another cause is cephalopelvic disproportion, which is when the fetal head is larger than the size of the maternal birth canal (usually causing fetal head molding). Other causes include problems with uterine contractions, anesthesia (i.e., an epidural) and cervical stenosis.

Signs and symptoms of a prolonged labor include labor beyond 18 hours, maternal exhaustion, back pain, high pulse rate, tender uterus; and ketosis.  Risks to mother and baby due to prolonged labor include:
The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases.  If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at