SO many spouses and helpers ask how they can help during early labour. Often the pregnant woman gets irritated if her partner doesn’t know exactly what to do, and everyone ends up frustrated and stressed – which doesn’t help the birth process. Early labour is usually the longest phase of labour.
What’s happening in early labour?
– The cervix softens (ripens), begins thinning (effacing) and dilates to 3 cm.
– You may have show.
– 10-12% of women have their bags of water break at the beginning of labour
– Soft bowel movements increase
Often contractions are sporadic at the beginning of labour. Gradually they develop into a rhythm becoming longer, stronger, and closer together. Often they are quite short at the beginning (15 to 20 seconds) and they become longer as the labour progresses. The contractions begin, peak and end. They come like waves. The pain ebbs and flops with the contractions.