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
• 5-20+ minutes apart
• 30-45 seconds long
• 3-5 minutes apart
• 60+ seconds long
Dilation • 0-6 centimetres • 6-8 centimetres
• 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
• Mother becomes inwardly focused and needs to find
• 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
• 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.
• 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,
• 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.
Labour and Birth