DISCLAIMER **If you are high risk pregnancy or have any other medical issues (or new issues arise, ie. your water ruptures), please understand your circumstances, and learn if waiting is an option for you. ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER** **This article is applicable to low risk and otherwise healthy pregnancies. **
One of my favourite memories of visits with my midwife was her casualty about everything. When we started getting closer to baby's arrival time, I would tell her something new or that something had changed in my body, and she'd do this big happy smile and say something along the lines of, "awesome!" or "Oooh cool!".
Simple. That was it. Your body is doing exactly what it needs to do. So how 'bout them Oilers? Did you get that Costco trip done yet?
My midwife taught me this as a new-to-be-mother, and now as a doula it's one of the essential things I try to teach my clients. Early labour? Ignore it ☺️
Now by no means do we mean, "Don't pay attention to your body." But what we are saying is don't hyper-focus on all the things. I find this is especially hard to tell a first time mama. It's a common question for them, "But how will I know if I'm in labour," "How will I know when it's time?" ... My sweet girl, I promise you, when things are active... you will know.
Early labour can take a long time. For some women a couple hours, for many women even longer, I'll even go as far to say as a couple days. It's all beautiful, it ALL counts. Every surge, every wave of pressure, every cramp and uncomfortable sensation.. whether it's a Braxton Hicks or a "real" contraction, I don't care, it all counts.
The trick is: don't count it. Don't count it until you can't not count it. I promise you, it will eventually turn in to that. The more you can convince yourself that you're not in labour, the shorter your labour will seem. You'll cope better, truly.
The way I explain it to women is as if you're about to get your period. You're a day or so away, PMS is creeping in, you start to get sore breasts, and a little crampy. Do you go home, refuse to go out, sort out all your tampons and pads on your bathroom counter and wait? Do you cancel your dinner plans or say "screw it!" to your grocery list because you're period will be here in a few days? I mean, that would be nice to retreat in and shut out the world, haha! but nope. You take note of your body, you might swing by the store and pick up a box of pads or Motrin for later... but otherwise you go about your day, grumpy and all!
So do this when you're going to have your baby. This is a process your body is designed to do. It knows exactly what it needs to do, and when to do it. Your job is to find the balance between keeping your brain busy and out of the way, and your body moving but also well rested.
Collect some projects for yourself to do for when early labour starts. I've had clients save their wedding photos to scrapbook, dog park trips, a list of baking to do, book yourself a pedicure, go to the movies. Get out! Because the way you stub your toe at home in front of your partner is not the same way you stub your toe in the middle of the line at Starbucks.
You are strong, you are capable. Your body is wise, your baby is cute and has their perfect timing planned. The more we have you "just rolling with it" ... the easier it's going to roll out.
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