- Samantha McClellan
How to Manage Each Stage of Labor
Did you know that labor typically progresses in some very distinct stages, and what works to help you cope during one stage may not be as helpful in another? For each stage of labor, there are some goals that can help you and your support person remember what techniques to focus on. During early labor: go about your regular routine and take care of yourself. Sleep, eat and hydrate. During active labor: find a coping routine that works and stick to it most of the time. Here's an example: Contraction starts, mom leans forward against the wall and sways hips, support person 1 starts double hip squeeze, support person 2 speaks encouragement and lets mom know when the contraction is halfway done. Contraction Ends. Mom drinks water and rests. Movement is key here. Transition: This is the most intense phase of labor, so the goal is to facilitate calm and quiet to allow mom to focus on her contractions. Minimize questions and distractions. Pushing: Help mom get energized and excited, give lots of encouragement and reminders that she's going to meet her baby soon. Find positions that offer good leverage and strength.