It’s an exciting moment when you feel that first contraction. You may be inclined to just jump on that birth ball and get labour going but in reality, this could actually make you super exhausted by the time true labour kicks in.
What I recommend to do in early labour is:
Rest when possible
Have little micro sleeps between contractions
Stay hydrated and eat well (fuel yourself for what’s ahead)
Stay in a safe environment (supporting the release of oxytocin to help you feel good and for contractions to amp up)
If you need to organise kids do this now as your frontal cortex (the part of the brain that does the decision making) is still very active and alert
Distract yourself – have a few laughs, watch a movie
Be in tune with your babe honour their journey- birth is not a race
As the sensations increase you may begin to find certain positions uncomfortable- just move and try different positions and see what works for you.
This is your time to show your support
It may be helpful to fulfil any tasks that needed to be done (kids to grandparents, dinner, etc)
Offer distractions and humour
Start becoming aware of contractions you can use an app if you like
However, the timing of contractions is less important than the sensations. Refrain from mentioning the contractions and how frequent and long they are. Instead, use positive encouragement “ we are in this together” “I’m so proud of you” “you are so strong”.
Offer hydration (get an icy water bottle)
Maybe run a bath or shower
And make sure you look after yourself too – eat a healthy meal, make sure you get rest.