Coping with Prodromal Labor

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Early labor, Active Labor and Transition make up the three stages of labor.

While most mothers go through all three phases of labor, there is a possible fourth phase known as prodromal labor. This phase is one that is rarely spoken about, but commonly experienced by first time mothers.

Prodromal labor certainly deserves attention.

Although prodromal labor is totally normal, pregnant mothers who experience this do not always think so. Prodromal labor (AKA False Labor) is an elongated period of time that can last days of hard labor type contractions and discomfort but doesn't progress into a "normal labor pattern". Prodromal labor can be very intense, however, your uterus is NOT broken and medical intervention is NOT the only way out.

Actually, what prodromal labor absolutely means is that you’re nearing the end of pregnancy you’re your baby will soon be in your arms.

While you may not find many articles on this topic, the new mom blogs, the community boards are flooded with experiences. All of them say the same thing. Make rest, hydration, and nourishment your number one priority; add a little patience and you will get through this.  I Promise!

The prodromal phase can typically last anywhere from 24-72 hours.

Yes, this early phase of labor is considered to be extremely uncomfortable, and may even become painful but the intensity usually wavers throughout the day. This phase of labor starts with regular elongated contractions. These contractions usually do not progress, become stronger, or closer together for some time.

Mothers who have previously had a baby may only experience prodromal labor during the night.

Rest is your key to getting through this. Endurance may seem impossible because these contractions are STRONG and consistent, which is quite disruptive to rest. Your doula will have some incredible comfort measures and supportive suggestions for you to get power through.

Truth is, the only way to end prodromal labor is to move on to the next phase… delivering your baby.