Prodromal labor and all it's glory.
Have you ever heard of Prodromal labor? Chances are you have if you have stumbled across this blog post because you most likely googled, "Prodromal labor" and you may have come across this.
I'm writing this on week 37, day 5 of my third pregnancy of which I have now been experiencing a little over 1 week of prodromal labor. This is also my third time experiencing prodromal labor so I can say I have a little experience with it.
What is prodromal labor you ask?
According to the American Pregnancy association, Prodromal labor is defined as:
"Prodromal labor is often called “false labor,” and is somewhere in between Braxton Hicks contractions and active labor contractions. Prodromal labor is a part of labor, occurring before active labor but it does not progress toward delivery.
“Prodromal” comes from a Greek word meaning “precursor.” This is a great explanation for this type of labor since it typically comes hours, days, or weeks before active labor begins."
For me personally, prodromal labor is defined as my own version of pregnancy hell. A period of time, undefined by your uterus, where your body puts you in and out of active labor, but does not produce the grand prize, your glorious little baby!
Prodromal labor can last weeks, and in my case has with with all three pregnancies. Labor pains are real, strong and lead you to believe you are experiencing the real deal, only to find out, you're not.
The most frustrating part of prodromal labor is the knowing when to actually call it phase. If you're like me and your water has never broken naturally, knowing when to head to the hospital is really challenging. In my case, each pregnancy has resulted in multiple trips to the hospital in the last few weeks, only to end up going home due to no progression on the dilation front. This makes for one tired, confused and frustrated mama.
So, if you are experiencing this, here are my few little tips for you.
1.Remember, you're not crazy.
What you are experiencing is very real. Although yes, you feel like you may go insane from the continuous tease your body is putting you through, it will all be so worth it soon!
2. Stay Active
Not only does this help to keep things progressing, but it also helps keep your mind off the fact that your baby is still inside of you, and not in your arms just yet. As I live in the Central valley of CA, and we are currently on our approximate 15th day of triple digit heat, walking outside is not an option for me. So, I have taken to my local gym where I have been walking the treadmill while listening to my favorite Audiobook currently, Girl, Wash your face by Rachel Hollis. I have been walking approximately 2-4 miles daily and this is said to be one of the top things we should be doing to help dilation.
I have also been bouncing a ton on my exercise ball which helped a ton with my second baby and progressing labor.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drink tons of water, to make sure your body and baby are well equipped for when the real deal occurs.
4. Ask for help
Do not be afraid to ask your partner, family, friend whatever it is for help through this time. It can be VERY trying. So ask for help where you need it and try to remember these are your last few days/weeks essentially of "freedom" . Once that baby is born, you will become a milk maid who is needed desperately every 2-4 hours and that is also one hell-of-a-time.
5. Natural Labor progressing tips + tricks.
- -Red Raspberry leaf tea- I bought mine at Whole foods. But you can grab some on Amazon too. Drink 2-3 cups a day! It helps strengthen the uterus for labor.
- -Evening primrose oil. I take 2000 mg orally and have been inserting 1000 mg vaginally per dosage recommendation. However, full disclosure, after 2 vaginal births, the insertion method is not working to out to well for me! LOL. any tips on this are gladly accepted.
- -Sexy time! Apparently the prostaglandins in the mans goods, help to ripin' the cervix. Sooooo, yes, I realize you feel like a beached whale and everything hurts, but try to relax and let your man work his magic in the name of cervical effacement
- -Accupressure Massage.
- -Nipple Stimulation- give that new pump a test run and latch that sucker on both ladies for 5 min. Do this a few times a day!
Mama, if you're currently going through this, like me. Know, you are not alone. SO many women experience this, and while it is so so so tiring, frustrating and painful, know that soon you will be sniffing that sweet babies head forgetting all about this dreaded time. I can HONESTLY say, it is true what they say, you really do forget about it all. So much so, this pregnancy and my last, when this started happening, and in the pits of real labor, I remember telling my husband, "Why did I do this again??! I completely forgot about how awful this part is!!!" But really, once that babe is in your arms, and they are squishing that placenta out of you, you forget about it all!
It will be over soon mama, until then pamper yourself, you deserve it!