F*ck Prodromal Labor
Prodromal labor can be long and agonizing when all you want to do is hold your baby. Not all women experience prodromal labor, but for those who do, it can be pretty frustrating.
What is Prodromal Labor?
Prodromal labor is often known as ‘pre-labor’ and is often misleadingly called ‘false labor,’ but there is nothing false about it. During prodromal labor, contractions can often start and stop for a period of hours, days, or even weeks without progressing into longer, stronger, or closer together contractions.
They are real contractions, but are just not regular. You can still be making small changes in the cervix that can possibly lead to a shorter labor later. Yes, that is right. Anecdotally, some who experience a long prodromal labor may experience a quicker active labor.
What Can Be Done About It?
Many people ask me what they should do to get things going if they have been experiencing prodromal labor for a long time. The first thing that I always suggest is to get some rest. Sleep produces melatonin, which helps facilitate oxytocin, which helps get contractions going in a regular pattern.
If sleep is not a possibility and hasn’t been for some time, I may suggest she talk to her medical provider about being put on therapeutic rest. Oftentimes, women put on therapeutic rest wake up in full-blown labor. This can only be done in earlier labor, not later in labor where sleep will be even harder to get.
If well rested and not in need of sleep, I usually suggest my clients do some activities with their partner. After all, these are some of the last moments together without this new baby. Enjoy some time together by watching a movie, playing a game, or cooking and eating a delicious meal together (be sure to freeze the leftovers for an easy postpartum meal post-baby). Stay close to get the oxytocin flowing because, just as mentioned above, oxytocin can help produce contractions.
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