Do you have contractions at the same time every night? Has your prodromal labor been going on for weeks? Do you just want to have this baby already?!?
Oh, mama, I totally feel you. Prodromal labor can be quite the pain, literally.
The fact that it can persist for days and even weeks before you go into real labor adds to the frustration.
But you can turn prodromal labor into real labor. You must do a few things first to help your body.
Why is this happening to me?!?
I’ve mentioned before that prodromal labor is kind of like a test run for the real deal. It is preparing your body for real labor, and as such, this is important.
Also, the good news is that more prolonged prodromal labor usually means that you will have a shorter active labor duration.
You can try a few things to turn prodromal labor into actual labor, so let me give you those tips now, and perhaps later, you’ll be happily holding your baby in your arms at the hospital.
Before I do, though, I really want to remind you that you should also make time to rest well, eat well, and hydrate well too. If sleeping at night seems challenging, follow these tips.
Even if your prodromal labor has been bugging you for weeks, and I know that it must be hard to rest, you’ve got to save up your energy. If you have been having that starting and stopping that prodromal does with contractions, often they tend to come at the same time of day. So, plan your rest around those times.
As for food and beverages, your body really needs you to eat well right now. Choose nourishing foods and gulp down that water. All of this really will help you when active labor finally comes on.
Do some exercising
In that 9th month of pregnancy, especially if you are right there in the final days or weeks, it can be hard to do anything. Even getting up from the couch may feel like a workout.
But if you try a few movements, this could help shift your baby into the right position and bring on real labor. I sincerely encourage you to do this, especially if you’ve been told your baby is in the breech. Exercise can move things along even if the baby is in a normal position.
Of course, a Zumba workout isn’t for you right now. Walking is a better idea, and better yet, curb walking. I’ve written about this exact topic before, but in short, it’s when you walk along a curb with one foot on the curb and the other on the regular ground. The uneven gait it creates seems to help.
However, please go with someone like your husband, friend, or family member. As you are top-heavy right now, you do not want to lose your balance and fall over. This could harm you and the baby.
Prefer to do regular walking?
Though you may want to put your hands behind your head with fingertips behind the ears, you can, like a runner in training. You’ll be pushing your pelvis into a different position and encouraging the baby into a new position too. Just 15 minutes, you may be out of prodromal labor and on your way to active labor.
Assume the position
Lamaze International suggests 3 positions to do in your pregnancy that can be helpful during prodromal labor. Through these moves, you can use gravity and balance to help improve your body’s comfort and increase your odds of having easier labor.
Please note that you can make these moves after you’ve moved through week 20 of your pregnancy. And of course, I urge you to speak to your doctor about them first and make sure it’s a good idea for your situation. If your doctor says they’re ok for you, please make sure not to do them while alone. Always have someone helping you out.
The first one is called sifting, which you will do with a scarf or bed sheet. You will be on your knees at a 90-degree angle with your arms and head resting on a chair or a yoga ball. Your assistant will wrap the fabric across your belly and bring each end of it over your lower back. Then they will pull up on them gently but firmly so you will feel a lift. While standing over your calves, they should move your arms in circles like a bicycle move.
If you’re confused reading this, I’m linking this sifting video so you can easily see what’s happening.
Next up is inversion.
You can use a couch or bench to do this. You’ll sit on your knees and lower your upper body to the ground with your hands first. Your support person should be there to help make sure you don’t fall off. You’ll rest on the ground with your head, forearms, and elbows.
Hold it for 3 breaths, then sit back again for two breaths. It’s important to keep your hips stacked when making an inversion move.
You can also try the side-lying release. You will need a firm bed or surface where you will lay on your side and be close to the edge of whatever surface you’re on. A support person must stay near your hips to keep you from falling off.
Then you can straighten both legs, and your partner will take the top leg, moving it forward so it dangles off the surface. You want your leg to feel heavy, so let go of all control. Really sink into it, roll onto the other side, and repeat the process.
These 3 positions tend to do the trick, but again, you need to be sure with your doctor that these are safe for you. And if they are, never attempt them without the assistance of someone else.
Good luck, and may you turn that prodromal labor into the main event!
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, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.