Short labor isn’t always as short as it seems. Oftentimes, the mother has been having painless contractions for hours, days, even weeks, which would mean gradual dilation of the cervix. This slow-build up, quick-resolution labor places no extra strain on the fetus, and may even be less stressful than the average 12-hour labor. There is no evidence to support the notion that an infant must go through a minimum amount of labor in order to be considered healthy at birth.
Julia Bulaon-Beltran, M.D., ob-gynecologist Teresa Luna, M.D., ob-gynecologist What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff, and Sandee Hathaway Websites: webmd.com