Every woman's labor is unique, even from one pregnancy to the next. Sometimes labor is over in a matter of hours. In other cases, labor tests a mother's physical and emotional stamina. You won't know how labor and childbirth will unfold until it happens.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING EARLY LABOR
In my many years of education and training, I've come to the realization that most birthing individuals FEAR early labor. The thought of not knowing when your water will break, what it will smell like, feel like, when will it happen etc.... During early labor you will experience :
Mild to moderate contractions that last 30 to 45 seconds, though they can be shorter, and might be regular or irregular. They may be spaced around 20 minutes apart and become progressively closer together, but not necessarily in a consistent pattern. As your cervix begins to open, you might notice a clear, pink or slightly bloody discharge from your vagina. This is likely the mucus plug that blocks the cervical opening during pregnancy. Diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and ruptured membranes can occur during early labor as well.
I prepare my clients on "What to expect during early labor" to decrease the chances of anxiety, worry and fear that can cause distress on the baby. In the final prenatal visit I discuss "The Signs of Labor", "What to do during early labor", "Early labor management", "When to call your doula", "When to call your provider, and "What to look out for in case of an emergency situation" such as signs of Placental Abruption or Cord Prolapse.
Learning to manage early labor is very critical. Join us on March 7, 2020 at 6:00 pm via Zoom Meetings for our "Early Labor Management Virtual Session".