Second labour: what to expect

Can you expect your second, third or fourth labour to be easier than the first?


Having been through the experience once, you may be wondering how a subsequent labour and birth will differ.


Generally, a second birth will tend to be faster and easier. 

‘There’s plenty of evidence that you can expect a quicker, easier birth the second time around,’ says consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Patrick O’Brien.

‘You’re also less likely to need stitches or assistance like forceps or a ventouse.

‘The one exception is if you had a planned Caesarean section before as this means you’ll effectively be giving birth for the first time. But if you had an emergency Caesarean quite a way into labour, the fact that your body has been through the dilation process will definitely help.’

If your second labour is quicker than your first, you are less likely to need or want an epidural.

And if you were induced first time around, there’s good news too. Experts agree that you are less likely to go overdue with a second pregnancy.


Do also remember that you have the right to ask to wait longer before being induced, unless there is a safety issue.


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