Prodromal Labor: A Survival Guide

Prodromal Labor: A Survival Guide

Does this story sound familiar? 

You go to your childbirth education classes, and hear that labor usually lasts 12-24 hours for a first birth. "Ok," you think. "I can handle that."

A few weeks later, you begin to feel steady contractions, and having never been in labor before, you think they feel fairly strong. Over the course of the day, they keep going, but don't ever get much stronger, longer, or closer together. Sometimes you feel a little tired and start to get relaxed and try to rest, and your contractions ease up a little. So you resolve not to rest, not to relax; you are going to stay active and upright and get this baby out! After 18 hours of walking around your neighborhood, rocking on your birth ball, and having your partner press on your sacrum, you figure you must be getting close to having your baby. So you go to the hospital and have your cervix checked, only to find that you are only 1-2 cm dilated and they want to put you on some pitocin or send you home.

So what's going on here? 

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