Table of Contents
What is Prodromal Labor?
What Causes Prodromal Labor?
The exact cause of prodromal labor is unknown, but several factors may contribute to it. For example, some women may experience prodromal labor if their baby is in a difficult position, such as a ‘Sunny side up baby’ or posterior where the baby’s back is on your back and they are facing frontwards. Additionally, prodromal labor may occur if your body is not yet ready for active labor or if you’re experiencing anxiety or stress. Most often I have seen people experience this if they are not hydrating, low in electrolytes, pushing their body to be too active, or not getting nutrient-dense meals. So what do you do then??
When to Call Your Midwife or OB?
Prodromal labor can be exhausting, but it’s important to conserve your energy for active labor. Here are some tips to help you manage prodromal labor:
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich drinks to stay hydrated. Dehydration can make contractions more painful and cause them to last longer. Our pain tolerance is improved when we hydrate! Water with an electrolyte packet like Liquid IV or Re-Lyte are great, as well as coconut water or herbal teas.
- Try the Miles Circuit. Sometimes the baby is just in a wonky position and not correctly applying their head to the cervix to encourage labor. The miles circuit can help get the baby into a more favorable position for labor.
- Take a Warm Bath: A warm bath can help ease discomfort and relax your muscles. Adding epsom salts and lavender oil can be extra relaxing for you and your tired muscles.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques: Try deep breathing, meditation, or visualization exercises to help you relax and manage any anxiety or stress you may be feeling. Hypnobirthing can be a great tool for this!
- Rest: Prodromal labor can be exhausting, so it’s important to rest as much as possible. Take naps, go to bed early, and rest between contractions. You can build yourself a comfy nest in bed with your pillows and your water and snacks nearby.
What to Do If You Experience Prodromal Labor?
If you’re experiencing prodromal labor, it’s essential to keep in touch with your birth team. They are there to support you and can help if necessary or if you desire. Your midwife can suggest certain herbs to alleviate prodromal labor. You should contact your birth team if:
- You experience severe pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away with rest, hydration, or changing positions.
- You have vaginal bleeding or discharge
You notice a decrease in fetal movement.
- Your water breaks, or you experience any other signs of active labor, such as consistent contractions or a change in the frequency or intensity of contractions.