Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Montreal Doula Tuesday Tips: What to do in early labour

Many couples who are having their first baby get really excited when contractions begin. They get their bag packed and head to the hospital right away, thinking the baby will be coming soon. When they get there, they may feel frustrated when the doctor tells them they have to go back home because labour hasn't progressed enough.

The best thing to do in early labour is to ignore it. Ideally you want to stay home as long as possible, since you feel most comfortable in your home.  Labour can actually stall when you head to the hospital. Also keep in mind that some women experience early labour over a span of several days. Here are some tips on how to handle early labour comfortably:

  1. If it's at night - prepare yourself a high protein meal, take a bath and then head to bed. Try to sleep between contractions, if possible. Try not to get too excited (I know, easier said than done). If you can't sleep, just lie in bed anyway. 
  2. If it's during the day - take a nice long walk. Walking is so beneficial while in labour. 
  3. Watch a movie with your partner. This may be one of the last times in a long time where you have two hours, uninhibited, to spend time with your partner. Take advantage. This will also keep your mind off labour. 
  4. Do you like to do any form of art? Prepare a project that you can complete on the day you go into labour. 
  5. Make sure you are eating and drinking. High protein meals will help you feel stronger throughout labour. 
  6. If you feel like there is something you HAVE to do, then do it. Some women have strong feelings of needing to do odd jobs like washing their walls or scrubbing their floors ("nesting"). Trust yourself.
You can do these things until you feel like you can no longer focus on anything other than your contractions. Remember that birth is like a marathon. 

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