It is extremely challenging to know what to expect from labor. Everyone’s story is different.
Some moms go through labor smooth and easy. Others have horror stories. What can you expect in early labor? How do you know what you will feel? Again, everyone is different, but here are some general guidelines:
1. Parents Panic And Head To The Hospital
This doesn’t happen with everyone, but it is a common occurrence. It is better safe than sorry, so it’s okay to head to the hospital. But did you know that you can call and consult with your doctor first? This could save you extra time at the hospital.
2. Hydration Becomes Super Important
You want to drink fluids throughout all stages of your labor. Grab a glass of water and start drinking when those contractions hit. Labor can be exhausting. Staying hydrated can help.
3. Urination and Excretion
You may need to “go” in those early stages of labor. You have a lot of pressure down there. This is normal and common. Doctors are used to it, so don’t panic. Go if you have to go!
4. Water Breaks, But Not Always
For some women, water breaks early. For other women, labor can begin and their water doesn’t break until later in the labor process. Don’t count on your water breaking as a sign to get to the hospital.
5. Cervix Will Dilate
During the early phase, your cervix will begin to dilate to 3-6 centimeters. This sometimes happens without noticeable or strong contractions.
6. Contractions Increase In Strength
While you are in this early stage, your contractions are likely to occur at more frequent intervals and become stronger. This first stage of labor can last quite a while, so be prepared to be patient.
7. Vaginal Discharge Occurs
Not always, but often moms-to-be will experience a vaginal discharge that may have blood during early labor. This is normal, but if there is a lot of blood be sure to call over your caregiver.
1st stage of labor process of labor and delivery
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