What is Prodromal Labor ?
Prodromal labor is often called false labor. It is somewhere in between Braxton Hicks contractions and active labor contractions. It is the part of labor that occurs before active labor but doesnt progress toward delivery.
This type of labor typically begins within hours, days or weeks before active labor begins.Prodromal labor consists of contractions that can be fairly regular (between 5-10 minutes apart) and can be painful like active labor contractions. Each contraction typically lasts just shy of one minute. These contractions are preparatory. They encourage the baby into a suitable birthing position and prepare the muscles, ligaments, and pelvis for active labor. They may also help prepare the mother for active labor.
What is the difference between prodromal labor and active labor contractions ?
Contractions from prodromal labor may come at fairly regular intervals and may be more painful than uncomfortable. However there is often a break in-between these contractions and active labor.
Prodromal contractions do not :
- Advance labor
- Increase in frequency
- Increase in intensity
- Cause continuing dilation or effacement of the cervix ( it may affect it to some degree).
How to cope with prodromal labor
During prodromal labor , it is important to make sure you rest. There is the potential for active labor to occur not too much later. It is therefore suggested that you conserve your energy for actual labor and delivery.
You can try these things to keep your mind off labor .
- Take a warm shower not bath in case your are dilated .
- If it begins at night, try to get some sleep.
- Munch on some snacks.
- Take a nap
- Drink water or sports drink
- Try a light activity such as packing your bag for the hospital.
- Take a short , leisurely walk .
- Do things that calm you such as read a book, drink safe herbal tea, listen to music and meditate.
Try not to
- Do exhausting tasks such as cooking, cleaning or exercising .
- Feel bad to ask for help.
Prodromal labor. Healthline . https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/prodromal-labor. Accessed July 30th, 2018