The initial story of Prodromal Labor

You may have heard several women talking about ‘false labor’ in your pregnancy yoga class.

During the end days of your pregnancy, you are prepared for the labor that lasts for 12 to 24 hours. Suddenly, one day you feel some mild pain and steady contractions. This labor pain keeps playing hide and sick with you giving a glimpse of it in intervals. You might have thought it as the commencement of labor, but it has never stayed for longer or increased its intensity. If by chance someday the intensity of the pain is high, and you tried to take rest, the pain subsided. This is when you convinced yourself, not to take rest and be active so that the baby finds its way out. After the entire day of doing all sorts of work, walking, and other exercises, you finally land in the hospital. To your surprise, the doctor checked everything and sends you home, telling you still have time for baby’s birth.

Now, you must have understood why those ladies were talking about ‘false labor’. Prodromal Labor is a kind of labor pain that lies between Braxton Hicks and active labor contractions. The Greek word ‘prodromal’ means ‘precursor’ that appears a few hours, days or weeks before your actual delivery time. It doesn’t happen in every pregnancy though it is common in many first births.

How to cope with Prodromal Labor

How long does Prodromal Labor last?

The average length of Prodromal labor is less than one minute per contractions that come in an interval of 5 to 10 minutes. These series of contractions are referred to as a preparatory measure where the baby is taking the suitable birthing position. The muscles, ligaments, and pelvis of you are getting prepared for the active labor.

Typically, the prodromal labor may last from 24 to 72 hours with no continuous contractions. These contractions will help in softening the cervix though it won’t dilate it. These irregular interval contractions are more painful than uncomfortable but it will not progress to active labor.

How to cope with Prodromal Labor?

As a mother of one, the advice to all the pregnant mommies would keep ignoring your labor pain to your utmost limit. Continue doing your light household work or rest or anything that you are doing it for so long.

    • If the pain begins at night, try to get some nap or try to sleep by changing your position to some comfortable position.
    • Try getting your good hormones secreting in your body so that you don’t concentrate on the pain. For that, you can watch enjoyable movies, sleep for long hours, pack your bag for the hospital, or go for a relaxing massage.
    • You can have some sort of snacks that are healthy. Keeping eating to divert your mind. Try eating a banana, or some healthy nutty bar.
    • If you enjoy cooking, try new recipes or baking that you can do it easily without costing much of your energy.
    • Some of the most important things to do are keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water, juices or liquids. If you are not paying attention in this, less hydration may lead to complications for you and your baby. Also, the strength and intensity of the prodromal labor might get worsen without helping you to meet your baby early.
  • You need to eat well that are energy-giving food and empty your bladder regularly.
  • You can try drinking soothing teas’ to get some relief.
  • If you want to get some relief from the pain, you can even try taking a warm bath or apply a hot pack on your back. But be sure that you are not taking a hot water bath as it will make the baby feel discomfort.
  • Try focusing on your breathing pattern and opt for a breathing technique that suits you best.

How to cope with Prodromal Labor

Remember not to feel embarrassed to call your doctor, thinking it might be prodromal labor, as it is difficult to identify the difference from the real labor. Only the doctor can examine the cervix and its dilation to tell you the truth.

How to progress Prodromal Labor?

Finally, when you won’t be able to tolerate your contractions, you can now tell your partner to massage your back and shoulders. Your contractions will be stronger, longer, and closer together at this point. Try using some labor coping techniques like rocking on the birth ball. You can take a short walk that comforts you. You should know here, that you have conserved a lot of energy by ignoring the previous pain. And things will look much easier now, as the anxiety related to the total time of labor won’t bother you.

Though there are no particular methods of how to turn prodromal labor into active labor, you can still look out for some signs that can confirm you. You can identify if you get to experience contractions at a regular interval of 5 minutes. These will remain active for more than one minute. And the whole session of contractions will last more than one hour. You can change your position and try checking whether you receive any relief. The prolonged period of regular contractions is a sign that prodromal labor has changed to active labor. You have to call for medical help or you can go ahead towards the hospital.

The bottom line

Do not overdo yourself in an attempt to get faster labor. When you try out the above ways to control your prodromal labor, it is most likely that it would end soon. The bottom line is that this is not the time for your baby to come out. As an expectant mother, this period will make you feel exhausted and frustrated. Think as a practice run for the real labor and try to focus on yourself. If you feel discouraged, think about all the positivity around you. Try to feel the enjoyment of coming one step closer to your baby. Sooner or later, you will be the happiest mom on earth holding your little one in your arms.

About Ipsita Sinha

A friendly mother, an engineering graduate, a teacher and a romantic genuine person in heart recently discovered a writer in me. Being a mommy blogger, thoughts keep flooding in my mind. I love to explore my life with new things including parenting and motherhood. I truly believe in the saying "keep your eyes on the stars and feet on the ground".

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