Early labour – what is it really about?

Early labour – what is it really about?

Also known as the latent stage of labour.

Let me tell you this – this is the part of your birth journey where the most preparation and change takes place in and around your cervix and uterus. This arguably the least enjoyable and here’s why: there is no timeline and you will not necessarily see the changes!

I like to think about this part of birth as ‘the behind the scene phase’. If we think about a movie production or even the construction world the work that goes on off-stage or off-site usually determines the success of that movie or project – yes, it’s exactly the same for the mind and body during early labour.

The body is very clever and will give you plenty of signs (albeit not in one go) that it is getting ready for birth. Early labour is often characterized by contractions. These always start without pattern which may present over a period day(s) or hours. The strength and intensity of the contractions varies, but generally, you should notice the pain presenting very smiliar to period-pains or pelvic pain and then they gradually change, becoming more intense, longer lasting, moving up and around the abdomen and begin to establish a rhythm and pattern.

There is no crib sheet, but what I do know is – if early labour is misunderstood, misjudged or even mismanaged it can be physically, emotionally and mentally challenging, indeed,  “I can’t do this anymore” is something I often hear from women who feel completely overwhelmed by it all.

Again, every birth follows its own unique path and this is exactly why honest and balanced birth education is so empowering – you learn what to expect and learn the hypnobirthing tools to help you through the normal course of early labour, but also you’re armed with the knowledge of when to reach out for Midwifery or Obstetric help – because that’s just sensible!