Your 3 Best Tips for Contractions Before Labor Begins!

Show Notes:

[1:16] Our reviewer of the week is JumelleT, and she says: “This is the best pregnancy and birth podcast ever! I am just about 25 weeks pregnant and have been SO enjoying your podcast. Every day I try to listen to a new podcast from the past. I've found your content so educational, fun and motivational. Because of listening to you and learning so much, I've been working hard on my birth plan. We are a military family and relocating from California to North Carolina when I will be 30 weeks. Ugh! After a ton of searching, I finally found a provider that I'm excited about - a midwifery in Wilmington, NC. I'm also doing pelvic floor PT as well. To those other mamas who may be moving or considering switching providers in your second trimester or later, this podcast has a ton of related birth stories and tips to help. Just wanted to say thank you for your content - I've been deeply enjoying it and will continue to!”

I love the action of creating a birth plan! We just moved from Utah to Florida so I do not envy your move at all! I was not 30 weeks pregnant. Props to you, mama! When you guys leave reviews, our podcast gets bumped up and shown to other mamas. Leave a review if our podcast has been helpful to you, and don’t forget to share with your friends! ๐Ÿ’œ

Preparation is key! We'll talk about actionable, exciting things that you can do to prepare for contractions before your labor even begins! Visualizing what is happening to your body physically, mentally creating space to relax, and knowing what real contractions feel like are just a few of the ways you can make sure you are preparing yourself for your best birth!

[3:30] This week’s episode is about what you can do for contractions BEFORE your labor even begins! Actionable, exciting things that you can do to prepare. ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿผ

[4:00] What is the most exciting part of pregnancy? If you ask me, it’s contractions! ๐Ÿ˜‚ While contractions can be exciting, they can also be confusing! 

[5:08] Tip #1: Know the difference for the following:

  1. Contractions 
  2. Braxton Hicks
  3. Prodromal Labor

I've linked a few podcast episodes below where I go into more detail about prodromal labor and how to tell the difference between contractions and Braxton Hicks.

[10:13] What are some things I can do to have prodromal labor turn into real labor contractions? It can be all about positioning: Spinning Babies, forward leaning inversion, side-lying release, rebozo sifting, and pelvic tilts. ๐ŸŒ€

[11:05] There can be so much fear and anxiety that comes with prodromal labor. It can take a toll on a mother’s mental health so make sure you have support and get as much rest as you can! ๐Ÿ˜ด

[12:05] Real labor contractions can be described as feeling like lower back/menstrual cramps and wrapping around to the front. They become longer, stronger, and closer together. You will end up having to stop, completely focus on, and breathe through the contractions. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ‍๐Ÿ’จ

[14:44] Trust me, YOU WILL KNOW when you’re actually in labor. You’re not alone! It’s normal to be excited or to be anxious! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

[15:10] Tip #2: Know how your baby and your uterus are working together during contractions. Baby sends the signal up to your brain to start producing oxytocin, which tells your body to start contractions! Isn’t that amazing?! ๐Ÿคฏ

[16:40] Do this for a labor rehearsal! Have your husband or birth partner squeeze your arm around your bicep tighter and tighter for 30 seconds. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ Then slowly release. It will give you an opportunity to think of the amount of time a contraction will last for and help you learn to breathe through the “contraction.”

[17:17] Here’s a visual to help you! If you push against the bottom of a newborn’s feet, they will automatically push against your hand. ๐Ÿฆถ๐ŸผWhy? When contractions cause the uterus to squeeze around your baby, your baby will push against the uterus to work their way out! 

[18:50] The pressure of the baby's head against your cervix is what causes it to dilate or open so your baby can be born! Think of a turtle neck sweater and putting it over your head. ๐ŸขThe opening will widen so you can get your head out. 

[20:28] By visualizing what will be happening to your body physically during a contraction, you can be thinking about the progress that is being made. ๐Ÿค”

[21:08] Tip #3: Have a plan for how you will work WITH your body during contractions. Birth is NOT like the movies! When you have a contraction, do not tense up! So what do I do then? RELAX. ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿผ‍โ™€๏ธ

[22:29] Practice relaxation. Yes. You heard that right. You need to practice before labor! (Some tips we talk about in Episode 144 are to dim the lights, relax your body, use a scent, breathe deep, and relax one tiny muscle at a time!) ๐Ÿ’†๐Ÿป‍โ™€๏ธ

[24:20] Counter pressure can be relaxing and provide relief! Your job during labor is to breathe and be relaxed so you can work with your contractions. Think about how you handle physical pain. ๐Ÿ˜–Your normal reactions will transfer into your birth space. Use that information and communicate it to your birth partner.

[26:09] Another thing you can do is to take the My Essential Birth Course. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There is so much helpful information within the birth course for you and your birth partner such as relaxation practice, labor rehearsals, affirmations, etc.

[27:19] Know how to stop the tension, pain, and fear cycle. Your temporary pain has a purpose! ๐Ÿ˜“

[28:05] Change positions every 30 minutes! โฐ Freedom of movement is so important for a mama working through her contractions. Have your birth partner or doula tell you when it’s time to change positions.

[29:16] Make sure you have all the tools you need! Birth balls, peanut balls, wet washcloths, chapstick, warm socks, etc. ๐Ÿงฆ

I hope this simple, sweet, and to the point episode will be helpful to you before and during your labor! ๐Ÿ’œ

To Leave a Review โญ๏ธ

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ALL the best,


Links Mentioned:

My Essential Birth Course

My Essential Birth Instagram  

Episode 104: Prodromal Labor & What It Means for Your Birth

Episode 154: Did My Water Just Break? And Other Common Questions As You Approach Your Due Date!

Episode 138: Covid-19 + Birth {Challenges & Benefits}

Episode 110: Safety of Homebirth + Informed Consent with Angie, LM, CPM

Spinning Babies

Episode 144: Relaxation Practice for Labor


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