When it comes to labor, we can feel overwhelmed and unsure about what our bodies are doing to prepare for bringing our baby earth-side. I’m going to answer the most common questions about contractions, fluids, and when it’s time to head to your birth place.
[1:12] It’s been a WHIRLWIND, y’all! 🤯 We have moved across the country from Utah to Florida this past week! 🌴 We’re excited for our new home and the potential that this new place holds for us!
[2:45] This week’s episode was prompted by a question that we received in the private My Essential Birth Facebook group! (🎬 Commercial Break: You can get access to this group by joining the My Essential Birth course!)
[3:05] Our reviewer of the week is Sarah Travaille, and she said, “I started listening to this podcast when I was 8 weeks pregnant (I am now 34 weeks), and it has been my saving grace. The knowledge I have gained from listening has been invaluable. I feel beyond ready for birth even though it’s our first baby and things might not go as planned . . . this podcast helped me prepare for the unplanned! My family has been skeptical whenever I mention birthing unmedicated, so having a birthing community such as this one has lifted my spirits. I cannot thank you enough.”
If you don’t have people who have also has an unmedicated birth or had a home birth, it can be discouraging when people give their opinions on why you shouldn’t make those choices! I’m so glad you’ve found a community where you feel that natural birth is the norm. At My Essential Birth, I am going to give you all the info whether you choose to birth medicated or unmedicated. My biggest passion is that you get to have a say and a choice in your birthing experience. 💜
[4:49] Are you like me and you Google everything? “What are signs of pregnancy?” *furiously types away on keyboard* “How do I know I’m pregnant?” 👩🏻💻 Well, just like at the beginning of pregnancy, questions come up towards the end too! And great news! I have answers for you!
[6:00] Some of the most common questions a mama will ask herself (and Google 😉) are:
I’m going to answer all these questions today!
[6:42] Labor is exciting! 🎉 The signs of labor mean it’s finally time for your little one to make their appearance, and that is the most exciting part to me. The work of labor is the part that I LOVE! It might be crazy, but it’s beautiful! 😍
[7:35] “Did my water just break? Or did I just pee myself?” 😧 During your pregnancy, it’s common to produce a lot more fluid, and when you sneeze, cough, or laugh, well . . . I’m sure you’re heading to the bathroom a lot. 🚽 It can be hard to tell if you’re leaking amniotic fluid or water since both are mostly clear and odorless.
[8:59] I talk about questions to ask yourself and things to do to determine if your water actually broke. 💦
[10:20] Mark this part of the episode down to come back to! 🚩 I’m going to talk about when to call your provider or head in to your birth place. Side Note: always reach out to your provider if you have any questions or concerns. If you are leaking some type of fluid that is something other than clear and odorless liquid (not including the mucus plug), you need to head in to your birth place or contact your provider.
[11:07] ⚠️ If your fluid is green, yellow, sludgy, foul-smelling, or any trickle of blood/blood clots/bright or dark red blood, it is definitely a sign to head in to your birth place. ⚠️ Another sign is anything protruding from the vagina, such as a hand, foot, umbilical cord, it’s definitely time! 😳
[12:20] I share two stories about my experience with two of my babies regarding leakage. Hopefully they’ll help you! My first baby was just a trickle when my water broke and with the third baby there was a gush (spoiler alert: it was not my water breaking!) 😅
[17:07] “Is that my mucus plug?! Do I need to head straight to the hospital?!” 🧐 I explain what the mucus plug is and its function. When your body starts dilating, your mucus plug will start to come away from the cervix, which means your body is preparing for labor, yay! (Just a heads up: I’m going to describe what the mucus plug looks like soooo . . . you’re welcome for the mental pictures.) 😬
[19:04] Losing your mucus plug is not a tell-tale sign of labor. You can lose it weeks before you give birth, and it can actually regenerate! It means you’re getting closer to the birth time, but it is not a for sure sign of actual labor. 🤷🏻♀️
[21:07] “Was that just Braxton Hicks? Or was that a real contraction?” 🤔 I explain what Braxton Hicks are, what to expect, and when you can start feeling them. It’s a tightening of the uterus but there is no pain involved. Real labor contractions begin with tightening, but they become longer, stronger, and closer together. The intensity will also increase. 😵💫
[26:31] I give you some questions to ask yourself to determine if your contractions are Braxton Hicks or real labor.
[28:08] Funny story! (There’s no such thing as TMI when it comes to pregnancy and labor, right?) 💩🙊 You’re welcome.
[29:06] Based on contractions alone, when should you contact your provider or head in to your birth place? You want the 3-1-1 or 4-1-1. Contractions that are 3 minutes apart (the start of one contraction to the next), lasting 1 minute long, for 1 hour. ⏳
[30:26] Depending on how you choose to give birth, the 3-1-1 method may not be comfortable for you if you’re planning on getting an epidural. Also factor in the drive to your hospital. 🚗 Another thing to consider when deciding to go in is if you’re GBS positive and choose to have antibiotics. It’s about knowing what your choices are and what you want for your birth experience!
[31:36] “Is this prodromal labor or the real thing?” 🥴 Prodromal labor can be both a mental and physical exhaustion. They are real, true contractions that cause dilation, but they don’t end with the baby being born. They fade away and come back again. They can start months, weeks, or days before real labor begins. 😮💨
[33:38] I talk about some questions to ask yourself about your prodromal labor:
[35:16] Here are a few things you can do during prodromal labor. 🧘🏼♀️
#1: Preventative: the three exercises (these are positional exercises that are also for general comfort!) The forward leaning inversion is to allow ligaments to stretch but to get baby up and out of the birth canal enough to readjust their head and body.
#2: During prodromal labor, you can do the side lying release and the forward leaning inversion. You can also do rebozo sifting. (I talk about these in the birth course!)
#3: I also recommend Spinning Babies techniques and the miles circuit.
[40:47] When do I contact my provider or head into my birth place when I’m experiencing prodromal labor? Head in when you need some rest and medical support. If you are ever concerned at all about you or your baby, contact them! ☎️
Labor is truly the most exciting time of the whole pregnancy process. 🤩 It is my very favorite time! It means I have work to do and I love working hard with my body, and my Creator to bring my children earth-side. ✨ Birth is beautiful, and magical, and challenging, and stretching, and everything in-between. It’s okay to feel all the feelings! I’m just another mom trying to help other moms. 💜
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