The average length of prodromal labor is anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. And for some, it may be days or weeks before you move from this stage to active labor.
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So, how do you get through prodromal labor?
Lately, I’ve been providing some tips and answering your pressing questions about prodromal labor. And today, I want to give you some help on how to speed things up.
But do keep in mind your body is getting ready for giving birth. So prodromal labor, annoying and painful as it is, has a purpose.
Still, if you want it to progress along more quickly, there are some things you can do.
In my other posts, I discussed how getting enough water, nutrition, and rest are essential during the prodromal labor period. My focus in this post is how to push things along so you can get to active labor and get that kid out of your uterus and into your arms.
Make a move
Movement is one of the key factors in getting prodromal labor to progress to active labor. Walking is excellent though curb walking is even better. I have a post devoted to curb walking that shows you how to do it right.
But what if the weather sucks outside and you don’t want to go out there?
An inversion may help.
No, you don’t need one of those wacky inversion thing-a-majiggies.
All you need to do is put your hips wide and high. Though, I do not recommend doing this alone. Make sure someone is with you to keep you from faceplanting. You will kneel on the edge of your couch. Then lower your hands to the floor so you can rest your forearms on the ground.
Shift your weight forward, so your arms are bearing it. This should encourage your baby to get into a better position. And as I’ve mentioned recently in my posts about prodromal labor, often it is prolonged because your baby needs to adjust inside for a better position to make giving birth a bit easier.
Increase the flow of oxytocin
That hormone of oxytocin is often called the feel-good hormone. And guess what? It causes contractions during labor.
So, if you want to speed up prodromal labor, it only makes sense that increasing your oxytocin can get things going.
How do you increase oxytocin naturally?
Try dimming the lights and taking a warm shower or bath. This will put you in a good mood for sure. However, it may not be quite enough to kick off the main event.
Another way to send oxytocin through the body is by finding ways to laugh. Grab your spouse and find a funny movie to watch. Or something romantic. Or a silly rom-com that has you laughing away.
Massage and physical touch also work. Maybe you two could stimulate each other during that movie? Just a suggestion, though, to be honest, that kind of touching is the reason you’re pregnant, to begin with.
If you can fathom it, having sex is one of the best ways to get things moving along.
But I know, for I was pregnant twice before. It is not easy to be in the mood when you feel like you’re as big as a house and uncomfortable no matter if you sit or lay down.
On your own? If your husband or boyfriend isn’t home and you need oxytocin release, you can always pet your dogs or cats. Even this simple, non-sexual activity can spur the release of this hormone. Perhaps it’s the soft fur. Perhaps that repetitive motion and the kind and caring love that animals provide us in exchange for food and water are what put a smile on your face.
And as it does, it releases oxytocin to help move prodromal labor along.
Lie on your side
I have one last tip for progressing prodromal labor. If you feel uncomfortable, have no pets, and your husband isn’t at home, you can try resting. Resting on your side with your bottom leg extended and your top leg curled up toward your belly may nudge the baby into the proper position.
If you have a pregnancy pillow, this is the time to use it. It’s not too late – I have a post on those that can help you choose one.
It may take a bit of repetition of these things, but they will help you get the labor to progress so you can get ready for that delivery!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs. She loves eating too much sushi, exercise, and jamming out on her Fender.