Image by Willian Warby.
It seems like you’ve been in labour forever. Days or maybe even weeks of contractions that start and stop, come and go.
Sometimes the get longer, stronger, and closer together. Only to fade away a few hours later.
It may seem like your body is broken. Why is this happening? Your friends and family members didn’t describe labour as being like this. It can be even harder when your due date comes and goes, and still you experience contractions, but no baby.
Colloquially, this is called “false labour”. We hate that term because there is nothing false about it! The contractions are still uncomfortable. You get less sleep, or none at all. Your body is still working.
So how do you cope with prodromal labour?
Just like early labour, you ignore it as much as possible. You might be rolling your eyes wondering how you can possibly ignore contractions! Something busy is best. Go for a walk in your community, go to the movies, or go shopping. An activity that distracts both your mind and your body.
When ignoring it doesn’t work, try accepting it. By accept it, we mean work with the prodromal contractions, not against them. You can try a bath, guided meditation, or going for a massage to help your body relax. Sometimes, when you relax into the contraction instead of tightening up, they fade away sooner.
Lastly, you can always try sleep. Put on The Rhythm Within, cuddle under your blankets so you are warm and cozy, and doze. You may only doze between contractions, but sleep will help your body to progress.
Just because your contractions are not active labour, it doesn’t make them less real. Your body is still making changes in order to birth your baby.
You can do this.
Your body is not broken.
You are strong.
*NOTE* if you are experiencing contractions prior to 37 weeks, it is important that you speak with your care provider.