I’m in labor! {Now what?!}

There are many times I get a phone call or message from a family at 2am and the conversation sounds something like this…

“I’ve been having contractions for the last hour or two about every 10-15 minutes. But they don’t really hurt.”
I usually say something along the lines of “Great! Take a shower, hydrate and go back to bed. Talk to you in the morning :)”
Wait, what?! I’m in labor! Sleep?! How?
Early labor can be a slow ease into active labor and if we spend these early moments waiting around for closer contracions we can become completely EXHAUSTED. Then, by the time our body is cooking through active labor, our energy stores are gone and we have a hard time finding the headspace we need to labor and bring these babies Earthside.

Okay, so… sleep… what if I CAN’T?

I’m a firm believer in the power of intentional rest. Laying down, body supported, and closed eyes does a lot more for the body than we might realize. The mantra I like to offer is “Even if I’m not sleeping, I’m resting.” Get your body to a quiet space, turn off the lights, play some calm sounds/music, or even some affirmation tracks. – I personally love the tracks from Gentle Birth. – This can support you in that effort toward intetnional rest or even help you drift into sleep. 

What about labor in the day time?

If labor kicks into some sort of noticable pattern during the daylight hours, we distract and deny! Welcome those labor signs with gladness and go about life as usual. If work is on your schedule, maybe call out and find an activity that brings some fun and joy to you through this part of the day. Grab lunch with your partner or a friend. If your body is calling for rest, listen in and take rest as you need. With early labor in the day, we tend to see babies in the wee hours. Good nourishment and rest through the day is essential here.  

Ultimately, the goal through early labor is to let is happen and not stress it or focus too heavily until those waves of tightening really begin to demand your attention and focus. Then you’re feeling focused and ready to take on whatever labor brings your way. 
It’s also a good plan to be communicating with your clinical team and your support team  through this time so everyone can be on the same page and ready to be at your side when your needs change. 
Such an exciting day! Enjoy it!! 

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