7 Tips for Early Labor
Early Labor might have you feeling excited, nervous, anxious, or scared. Is it really early labor, or just Braxton Hicks again? Will I have the baby today? Will I have a 46-hour labor like my friend always talks about? Here are some tips for keeping your cool during early labor & setting yourself up for a successful birth.
#1: Get some rest
This is the number one thing that I see mamas forget to do. If you're able to ignore contractions and sleep through the night, do it. If not, I always found comfort in what my mom used to tell me as a kid - even if you can't fall asleep, you're still getting good rest. I also highly recommend this free meditation if you need some help calming your mind.
#2: Fuel up
Your body is about to do some serious work, and you may not feel like eating much during the later stages of labor. This is the time to really focus on staying hydrated and eating some healthy, hearty meals (load up on those carbs). If you're not normally good at consistently drinking water, set a recurring reminder on your phone or ask your partner to keep reminding you.
#3: Go on a walk
After you've gotten a good night sleep & rested as much as possible, sometimes going on a nice walk can help prepare your body for giving birth. Standing upright is helpful because you're allowing gravity to help your baby get into a good position & move downward.
#4: Do something fun & relaxing
Early labor can sometimes feel boring or never-ending, so keeping yourself busy & happy with a restful activity that you enjoy can really help! You could cook a few meals to stick in the freezer for when baby gets home, do some journaling, watch a funny movie, play fetch with your dog, take a nice bath, or go out to a nice dinner. Try to enjoy this exciting time leading up to meeting your new baby.
#5: Only tell people who need to know
Even though you might be so excited that you're having contractions & wanting to post on Facebook & Instagram so the whole world knows, sometimes this can actually set you up for disappointment. You don't need the added pressure & anxiety of all your friends texting you "is the baby here???" when you still have a long day ahead of you. Tell your close friends & family that need to know, but avoid telling everyone else for now. This is a time to share with those closest to you, not to be constantly distracted by your phone buzzing & disappointed that the baby isn't here yet.
#6: Finalize logistics
If you do have any last-minute essentials to get organized, now is a good time to do it. Make sure your hospital bag is packed, call the sitter if you have other kids that will need childcare, make sure the baby's first outfit is packed.
#7: Don't forget to take a few deep breaths & smile
Lastly, don't forget to take a few moments to really step back & acknowledge how amazing it is that your baby is on its way. Your body is about to amaze you with its power, and soon you will get to stare at those tiny little hands & feet & eyes for the first time. Enjoy this time for what it is and try to remember to smile.