Part 1: Let’s Get Physical
What's the "411" on active labor? In fact, we can get the impression that having contractions every 4 minutes, that last for a minute long, and this pattern has been happening for an hour or more automatically means you're in active labor. There’s so much more to knowing you’re in active labor. Don’t worry! Most babies don’t fall out. If yours does, congrats, that was a super efficient birth! Pay attention to the timing but also the shift that has happen. Are you, or the laboring person, focusing inward, serious, making moaning sounds and suddenly resting between contractions? Sounds like things are getting real. Partners, your jokes often stop being funny right now and it might take you a moment to figure this out. That’s okay as long as comedy wasn’t your distraction plan for your whole labor.
Everyone talks about movement and position changes during labor but we get the feeling that it's all about comfort. Not true! You're baby is like a key trying to fit into a lock and needs space to turn and get a good fit. The more you move and open your pelvis, the easier it is for baby to do this.
Some great positions are exhausting like lunges and squats, while others can provide rest. What’s most important is that you are moving. Nobody should stay in one spot for too long at all. We promise, labor is not supposed to feel like a workout class but it's also not about laying in bed surrounded by glowing candles.
Consider getting an exercise ball to use during labor. We talk about ways to use it and you'll even find uses after baby arrives. We're not recommending lunges the whole time. We want you to rest, but be sure to get up and change positions, even if you don't want to!
Come back next week for part 2! We'll be talking all about comfort!