2.6 hours

Increase in average length of labor for first-time mothers, compared with women giving birth 50 years ago. Why the longer labors? Modern moms are older, heavier and delivering bigger babies than in the 1960s. Obstetric practices have also changed since then: doctors today are more likely than in the past to use epidural anethesia, which can slow labor, and to use oxytocin to induce labor, which may increase the risk of cesarean section; they’re also far less likely to make an episiotomy or to use forceps to speed delivery. [via HealthDay]

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