How do I know I’m in labor?
Very early signs:
- "Nesting" - feeling an intense drive to tidy and clean and make a cozy home
- You may lose your mucus plug (it’ll look like a giant lugey, and it might be a little bloody)
- Period-poop. You thought that just cause you weren’t having your period you wouldn’t have to deal with the poop? Nope. You’re body’s clearing the way for that baby to use up all the space down there.
- Your water might break. Only 2 out of 10 people have the movie-style pop-and-gush, and often enough the water doesn’t even break until you’re halfway through labor anyway, so don’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen or if all you get is a little, constant trickle of clear/brown/yellow/green fluid.
OK so now I’m in early labor? What’s next?
- Contractions! I know that’s what you’ve been waiting for, and here they come. They’ll be irregular and you can still talk and walk through them. This stage can last anywhere from 2-20 hours, so be prepared. Eat, sleep, drink, go to the bathroom. Rest and give yourself the emotional space you need to prepare for labor.
- Call your midwife, let her know, but stay home from the hospital/birth center as long as possible.
- But how do I know that this is early labor, and not actual true-blue labor? Contractions during early labor: don’t stop you from talking, allow you to sleep in between, come irregularly, come once every 6 minutes or more, peter out when you walk.
Ok so now this is getting stronger. Can I go in to the hospital yet?
- Wait to call your midwife until you have been having contractions that happen at least once every 5 minutes (once every 3 or 4 is even better) and have been doing so for at least two hours.
- Then, see if you can wait even longer. Labor is often easier and moves quicker at home, so stick it out for as long as you feel comfortable.
Once you’re at the hospital/birth center/your midwife comes to your home, she may check your cervix if she believes you are in labor. At the hospital you’ll have your baby’s heart rate and your contraction pattern monitored for at least 20 minutes, and then they’ll decide if it’s time to admit you. Usually they’ll check you once when you first arrive and then again 2 hours later to see if your cervix is changing. If it isn’t, they may send you home! Don’t despair, it’ll happen eventually! Good luck <3
Q:I've always wondered... Does the woman ever stink or smell when giving birth ? Like she's all there in the open.
When a woman gives birth this a natural ‘musky’ oder in the air, which comes from all the sweat glands. Check out this article for more info:
Q:This blog helped me power though a fast and intense labor with my son born in May. I was induced at 8:30 in the morning, my water broke at 6:30 PMand I was at 4 cm, then he was born at 8:11PM. I couldn't get pain medication even if I wanted it but I pushed through and I really do think it was in part due to reading about and seeing so many wonderful births on this blog. thank you!
Hi There!! I’ve been gone for a while because I have been opening up my birthing center in Los Angeles. I’m so glad to hear you were inspired to trust your body and baby!!!
#mamma, #dad, #sister, #baby AND #placenta all in the #birthingtub together! Yup, that’s how we roll at #gracefull! We love our #lotusbirth s!!! #midwife #midwifery #burbank #homebirth #naturalchildbirth #birthwithoutfear #waterbirth #family #instalove #childbirth @sunnyrowe
WE HAD A BABY!
wow, what a wild ride… we could not have done it without our amazing midwife Elizabeth Bauchner from Gracefull Birthing. she enabled me to have litereally the most incredible experience of my life. i will be forever grateful.
Awe!! We love our mammas!!!!