July 12, 2016
For a lot of first time parents who are expecting the birth of their baby, there is some anxiety about knowing when it's really active labor. People like to say, "Oh you'll just know," but that doesn't help to take away the mystery of how you'll "just know!"
Certainly, there are some things that can't be fully understood (or at least fully appreciated) until you experience it. However, there are some helpful tools and tips for you to use to help you get an idea of when you might be in active labor. As your birth doulas, we see a lot of births in and around Cincinnati and Dayton! It is not uncommon for us to spend time talking you through early labor, assuring you about what is or isn't normal, and also helping you gauge when things are heading toward active labor so you can begin to plan your next steps to meet your new baby!
In the video below I explain the 5-1-1 Rule, one of the many tools we may use to assist you in deciding whether it's time to call to your doctor or midwife and make a plan about what's next*, which may include continuing to labor at home for a while longer, or going in to the hospital to check progress and either be admitted, or go home to continue to labor before going in again for admission, depending on your individual circumstances and history.
*It is important to note, there are certainly other signs and experiences that may warrant a call or a trip to the Labor & Delivery unit, but the focus of this video is solely on equipping you to know when active labor may be at hand. As your doula, we can help you understand other times it may be a good idea to talk to your care provider, and of course, if you are ever in doubt, go ahead and call them or head in! It's their job to care for you.