What is silent labor?

What Is Silent Labor?

If you are a mom with her first pregnancy, like I was, you might be trying to find all the information you can about labor.


One of the things I came across while researching was something called silent labor. It did sound quite magical and almost like it was something out of a fiction story.


However, after reading stories from other real moms, I realized that silent labors are a real thing and it just blew my mind.


This article is to help make your research easier and save you some time as moms are quite busy. I even have a short summary for you if you’re super busy!

Silent Labor is when you give birth with no pain and no feeling at all. All you might feel is your stomach hardening and some sickness. If your mother had it, you most likely have it. To prepare for it, live near the hospital or have a home birth kit ready with sanitary mats for your baby!

As you’ve heard from most moms about labor, it is something that you will most likely feel due to the insane amount of pain from the contractions.


But what if you don’t feel anything at all? Well, that’s what silent labor is. Most women know when to go to the hospital due to their contractions but moms with silent labor have no idea.


If you’re having a silent labor, you would have no idea that you need to go to the hospital which is pretty scary.


Silent labor is also called precipitate labor or even a fast labor at times.


If you are a mom who has given birth, just imagine what it would feel like with no contractions or no pain at all. I know it sounds great but it’s also really dangerous.


You would never know when to go to the hospital which could be catastrophic for your child!

What Does Silent Labor Feel Like?

Well, for the most part, it feels like nothing. Some mothers have described feeling a bit sick but have never felt any pain if they are going through silent labor.


One thing that you will 100% notice is your stomach tightening during silent labor. 


Sure it could also mean other things but if you do feel a bit sick and your stomach feels hard like a rock, then you should immediately go to see a doctor!


Sometimes you might even see the outline of your baby on your stomach! This is a clear sign that you need to see a doctor obviously.


Other than those things, there is nothing else that you will feel and there are even times where doctors won’t be able to see the contractions.

Complications Of Silent Labor

As a mother, you might be curious if giving birth through silent labor has any complications. And unfortunately, yes there are. 


They are mainly due to the fact that most moms will not have enough time to drive to the hospital as they don’t feel pain during the start of their silent labor.


If you are lucky to notice that you are going through silent labor, most of these complications won’t affect you.


However, just to educate the moms out there, here are some complications you might face if you don’t make it to the hospital in time.


For Mother

  • Mental Shock

Due to the quick birth and surprising aspect of it, you might be shocked mentally as to how it happened. Some moms will even blame themselves for not noticing the signs of contractions. 


  • Entire placenta inside mother

Due to the speed of the birth, the placenta is retained inside the mother.


  • Tearing to vagina and cervix

Again this is also due to the speed of the birth. In this case, the vagina doesn’t have enough time to completely expand which could cause it to tear. 



For Baby

  • Baby might be born in an unsanitary place

If you aren’t prepared at home to give birth to your baby, then they might be born in an environment that isn’t entirely clean. And you most likely won’t have time to prepare which makes it even worse.


  • Baby might breathe the amniotic fluid

If the baby comes out too quickly, they might inhale some of the amniotic fluid which could be quite dangerous.(Source)

Woman is in silent labor. also known as percipitate labor or fast labor

Misconceptions About Silent Labor

The one misconception about silent labor isn’t even related to the term itself and can be quite misleading for parents.


Another term known as silent birth is a term used by scientology people where the room must be silent during the birth of a child.


This is in no way related to silent labors. It is a completely different term but is often mistaken for each other.


Just be sure you aren’t talking about the wrong term when discussing this.

How Common Are Silent Labors?

Honestly, due to the rareness of this, there isn’t even a clear number as to how common or rare it is.


To find a proper number, you would have to get a group of pregnant women and see if they have this type of labour.


But even then you might get 0% because it really is that rare!


However, if you had silent labour the first time, there are high chances that you will experience it again!


Every mother who experienced it the first time, also had the same labour the second time.

How To Prepare For Future Silent Labors?

If you already had this type of labor or you know that you will have one because it runs in your family, well then here are some tips you can use to prepare for it.


First of all, your doctor will recommend staying in the hospital as your due date comes closer.


The reason for this is that it would be better to be in the hospital when you end up feeling your labor rather than being at home.


If you are already in the hospital, then the delivery can be done easily but if you are at home, there are more complications and you might not even have the necessary equipment.


If staying at the hospital is not feasible for you, try finding a place near the hospital. 


You could possibly rent a place near the hospital or live with someone you know. Even living near a midwife is a good idea as they can assist in home births.


The second thing you can do is have a kit ready that has everything needed for a home birth. If you do end up staying at home, it would be better to be ready.


When the baby does decide to come, you can have a clean place for them to be born on.


It’s also a good idea to keep this kit with you wherever you go! If your baby does decide to come at the most random of places, well you will be prepared.


The last thing you can do is be super cautious. Familiarize yourself with all the symptoms of silent labor. Learn the tiny things you can look out for.


Things such as the hardening of your stomach, or the sick feeling that most mothers get.


If you feel anything at all around your due date, make sure to consult your doctor or midwife! (Source)

Reasons For Silent Labor?

The actual cause for silent labors are still largely unknown but there are some things that might cause it.


Here are a few things:

  • Genetics

If your mother had a silent labor, you certainly will. It is something that runs in the family and will happen at every birth you give. Make sure to ask your mom if she experienced anything similar to prepare yourself


  • A super-smooth birth canal

  • Tiny baby


There are many more reasons but these are some of the common ones. 


Again, you might have it or you might not. You can’t tell until you give birth but don’t worry because in the end, it’ll be alright.


I hope this article was useful to the soon expecting moms out there or the moms who have already experienced this.

Please do visit your doctor if you feel unwell or weird as it’s always best to be safe than sorry!

Silent labor is something that sounds magical but can be dangerous and is very rare. Make sure to ask your doctor about it too!

Are you a mom who has experienced silent labor? Share your thoughts below!

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