Preparing for Birth Australian Edition Partial Preview - Page 8

Your Labour Guide This is a general guide. Every labour is different. Stage Pre-labour/Early Labour Active Labour Length • A few hours to a few days • Averages 1-8+ hours Contractions • 5-20+ minutes apart • 30-45 seconds long • 3-5 minutes apart • 60+ seconds long Dilation • 0-6 centimetres • 6-8 centimetres Tips • Be patient and don’t pay attention too soon. • Go about your normal routine; if it is true labour, your body will let you know before long. • Mother becomes inwardly focused and needs to find comfortable positions. • Begin using coping techniques: visualisation, breathing, etc., and take one contraction at a time. • Go for a walk to see if contractions intensify. • Eat, drink, or take a bath or shower. • Experiment with positions to see what is most helpful. • Rest/sleep as much as possible to conserve energy and be ready for active labour. • Change positions at least every half hour, alternating between upright and resting positions. • Use movement (rocking, swaying, walking) to encourage descent and shorten labour. • Drink and use the bathroom often. Activities Preview • Time contractions occasionally. • Create an atmosphere of relaxation: music, dim • Remind her to eat, drink and rest. lights, etc., respecting her need to focus. • Finish any last-minute items at home or work, Partner Support • Encourage mother to drink water. including packing the labour bag. • Turn your focus, attention and support entirely on • Call care provider and/or birth place to notify mother as labour intensifies. them of labour. Early Labour Active Labour 14 Labour and Birth