One of the greatest and miraculous events occurring on earth after the evolution of human beings is the process of giving birth.
Labor is unique and so is every woman. It is simply ridiculous to compare two women in labor. However for convenience sake the process of labor is divided into three stages. When you feel uncertain, anxious, excited, nervous and relieved all simultaneously, do not panic. It is the onset of early labor. All these feelings are quite normal so do not hassle!
The first stage of labor includes early labor and active labor. In the stage of early labor, the cervical opening begins to dilate and mild uterine contractions set in. The contractions generally last for 40-70 seconds and come at regular gap. Normally the contractions come at a gap of five minutes towards the end of early labor and they are more intense in nature.
Brown or blood stained discharge may be seen coming out from the cervix. This is called the mucus plug or bloody show and it blocks the opening of the cervical canal. Your water might break and there might be leakage of amniotic fluid. You could also experience shivering even though you are not feeling cold and other signs of labor.
The duration of early labor is quite unpredictable, however in primigravidae or first-time- mothers, the usual duration of early labor is between 6-12 hours. The stage is relatively shorter in mothers who have already had deliveries.
If the contractions are bearable and are not intense in nature, it is entirely on the woman either to walk around or indulge in trivial household chores. Some women like talking to their friends or watching movies. It is entirely on your choice of things- do what you feel comfortable doing in this early stage of labor when the contractions are mild.
In order to feel more comfortable and relaxed, you can do the following:
- Take a bath or a shower
- Listen soft music
- Get a gentle massage
- Drink fluids
- Do some deep breathing exercises
- Take a short walk
- Eat healthy and light snacks
- Apply ice pack on your lower back
- Check the list of your delivery bag for the last time to avoid missing any important thing.
If your early labor is a prolonged one, do not feel disappointed and disheartened. Be assured your body is doing its best for you and it is seen that if the early labor is a long one, the active phase of labor is of a shorter duration. So do not feel bad at all!
The best way to deal with early labor is to feel relaxed and stay at home till active and intense pains sets in. Keep yourself distracted and drink plenty of fluids. Remember your special time has arrived so be composed.