Here are some of the most common questions I hear from first-time expectant moms and from moms whose labours were previously induced.
Sometimes you can be “teased” by labour beginning, only for it to stop and only really begin another day. We call these “prelabour” contractions. They may cause your cervix to move forward, soften, and thin – which are all important things that need to happen before your cervix can start to open (dilate).
“True labour” is marked my a distinct pattern of contractions that become longer in duration, stronger in intensity, and closer together. Just remember the acronym “LSD” for length, strength, and duration.
No. This only happens in 15% of first-time moms. We probably get this idea from the media!! Most of the time, women can experience signs and symptoms leading up to labour (eg. flu-like symtoms, show, baby’s head engages in pelvis). For most women, the start of labour is distinguished when she experiences contractions in a pattern that eventually become longer, stronger, and closer together (remember…. LSD). The membranes usually break some time during labour or during pushing. Sometimes, a baby is born with the membranes in tact which means mom’s waters don’t break! In this case, the doctor will break the membrane as soon as the baby is born.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY LABOUR IS PROGRESSING WELL?
First of all, I like to advise women to be strategic during “early labour” (0-5cm). Early labour for first-time moms is usually the longest phase of labour, but it is also the most managable. Staying relaxed, hydrated, nourished, and alternating between rest and activity, are all healthy ingredients to ensure a positive labour experience from start to finish!
When your contractions are becoming longer, stronger, and closer together, this usually means you are progressing well in labour.
HOW LONG CAN I EXPECT LABOUR TO LAST?
There are many variations of early labour which make it difficult to estimate how long your labour will last. But like we said, since early labour is quite managable, play your cards right and you won’t need to worry if you have a “longer-than-average” labour. Remember that in labour, going from 5-10cm is usually much quicker than getting from 0-5cm.
“Till next time,
Feel good Mommies and Mommies-To-Be!