Tips for getting through Prodromal Labor
We’ve all seen labor begin on TV shows and movies. Most of the time the woman’s water breaks, they head to the hospital, a few contractions with screams and the baby is born. Easy right?
We all know though, that in reality, just as every woman and baby are different, every labor and delivery are different.
Generally, labor begins with contractions that then continue to get stronger, longer and closer together, ultimately leading to pushing and birth. Sometimes however, prodromal labor can occur. This is labor that doesn’t seem to be progressing. Contractions may not increase in intensity or duration, and there may be little to no change in the cervix. This type of labor can last for days or even weeks.
Prodromal labor can be very frustrating; you want very much to meet your baby and want very much NOT to be pregnant anymore. You may feel very anxious about knowing when to go to the hospital and worried that you won’t know for sure or won’t make it in time.
The first thing to remember is that your labor is real.
All contractions are your body working to deliver your baby. Sometimes the contractions are your uterus warming up or practicing before they become contractions that cause cervical change. It doesn’t mean that they are doing nothing, but it may mean that it will be awhile until it’s time to go to the hospital.
So what do you do when you feel like labor is going on forever!
- This may be very difficult, so try thinking about small increments of time to occupy yourself with; maybe an hour or two at a time. Watch a TV show or movie, bake some cookies or make some meals for later, read a book or play a game. Thinking about smaller chunks of time can make the days go by a little quicker than thinking about a whole day or week at once.
- Keep in mind that even though the contractions are not getting stronger or closer together that you are still in labor. Your body is working hard to get ready to deliver and it’s easy for your strength to be tapped if you are contracting for days or weeks. You’ll need both physical and emotional energy when it finally comes time to head to the hospital, so make sure to relax and nap any chance you get; and don’t forget to eat light meals and stay hydrated.
Reach Out to Your Doula
- Staying in contact with your doula during this time is very important. She will be a great source of encouragement, reminding you that your body is doing exactly what it needs to right now and that you will be meeting your baby very soon. She can help you stay focused on the moment and not become overwhelmed. It’s also good to keep her updated so you’ll both know when to go to the hospital.
Prodromal labor is “normal.” Stay positive and take one moment at a time. You’ll be meeting your baby very soon!
You’ve got this!