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The Blog


What to Do in Early Labour?

Today I want to talk to you about early labour.  This should be one of the most exciting times of your whole pregnancy.  You have been waiting for months and months for this baby to arrive, and finally those twinges, maybe the cramping or the Braxton Hicks, are not a false alarm, and your baby is ready to meet you for the first time.  This should feel really, really, good, so what happens next?  Watch the video to learn more!

Well firstly, if you go into labour during the night, it is the only time I recommend you not giving your birth partner a bit of a nudge, because what we don’t want is for you to be really excited, and for them to be really excited and you then be in it for the long haul, and your birthing partner perhaps wanting to sleep at just the time you need them most.  So during those early phases if you go into labour during the night, you allow them to sleep, and perhaps it’s a really good time for you to listen to your MP3’s.

Now while most people will be super excited, if you do notice any anxiety coming up, don’t worry just pop on your Fur Elise MP3, and for those of you who are kind of like gung-ho we’re ready to go, now is a great time for you to put on your birth rehearsal MP3 or your Powerball MP3.

So what happens if you go into labour during the day?  Well, actually for most of you, I want it to be business as usual for as long as feels comfortable.  We want to keep you upright and active, because we know that when a woman is upright and active her body works with gravity and it’s easier for baby to move down the birth path.  If you can think about doing any activities that are endorphin or oxytocin producing, that’s amazing.  If your partner is around, going for a nice walk in the country, perhaps if you have older children who get it, maybe you want to have some fun and games, talking about the arrival of baby, anything really, that keeps you upright, mobile, and feeling good and excited about what is to happen.

As soon as you start to feel your surges, even if you are up and about and around, you just stop and use your Calm Birth School breathing techniques, and then really it continues as you were.  If you have a very long latent phase, please don’t get discouraged.  I remember with my second birth I was in early labour, or the latent phase, for 24 hours before I started to get regular surges.  This can be disconcerting, and can make you question yourself, particularly if you’re feeling intensity with your surges.

I just want you to know, that sometimes there are really, great reasons for that long latent phase, like your baby moving into the optimal position for birth, and the best thing that you can do, is to chill, relax, and maybe watch some of your favourite funny films, again to get the endorphins and the oxytocin going.  Just know that if you’re feeling those sensations and you are in early labour, that it can’t last forever and baby will come.  Perhaps you want to try some reflexology, or some acupuncture, or acupressure to help gently nudge nature along, but probably the best thing you can do is to stay positive. 

I hope that’s helpful, if you haven’t yet signed up for your free Hypnobirthing videos, please check out