Former UFC champion Miesha Tate has given birth to a baby girl after a grueling 67-hour labor.
A photo of the 31-year-old fighter and her daughter, Amaia, whom she shares with boyfriend Johnny Nunez, was posted to Instagram Monday by a friend of Tate’s with a caption that reads in part, “I’m so proud of my incredible friend. After 67 hours of labor, she gave birth to a perfect, tiny human. I am so proud of her, to be able to call her one of my best friends, and to share a birthday with this little piece of magic named Amaia.”
News of Tate’s lengthy childbirth hit social media with headlines emphasizing the nearly three-day ordeal.
However, laboring for 67 hours is totally possible, says Tami Rowen, an ob-gyn at the University of California, San Francisco. “We tend to think of labor as those dramatic movie scenes in which the woman is screaming and pushing, but the process unfolds in three different stages, the length of which can vary,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
The first stage of labor occurs when the woman starts having contractions and cervical dilation (when the cervix begins opening to allow the baby to exit). Depending on the woman, those processes can take days. “Some women in the early stages of labor continue going to work if they’re comfortable doing so, especially those who haven’t begun dilating,” says Rowen.
Some women arrive at the hospital during this time; however, they’re likelier to be admitted once the cervix has opened to 4 to 6 centimeters. “That’s when we generally anticipate that labor will progress steadily from there,” says Rowen, adding, “We hear about hospitals turning away pregnant women, but it’s often safer to labor at home early on.”
During the second stage, the cervix has reached 10 centimeters, and the woman is ready to push. “First-time moms usually push for two to three hours, and second-time moms can deliver in less than an hour,” says Rowen.
The last stage involves birthing the placenta, the organ that helps nourish the baby during pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s attached to the uterus by the baby’s umbilical cord, and the mother typically pushes it out 10 to 30 minutes after the birth.
How much time a woman spends in each stage is individual and dependent on situations such as whether or not she was induced, which involves administering a synthetic hormone to start contractions. That process alone can take anywhere between five hours and five days.
So, for some expecting women, 67 hours is just enough time.
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