What is Prodromal Labor? | Northwest PA Doulas

I sat down on my exercise ball just after another run to the bathroom to pee and right before another contraction began. It was my first pregnancy, long before I became a doula. I'd been having intense contractions for over 24 hours now but they weren't getting longer, stronger or closer together. So every 8 minutes or so, I'd buckle down and hold on tight through another one. 

Pregnant Woman in Prodromal Labor | Northwest PA Doulas

As a mom, I am a researcher. It makes me feel empowered to know that I am making decisions due to evidence-based information that I've found. So when these contractions kept going for hours and then stopping, I instantly went to my doula, Google and my OB's nurses line to help me out. 

What I found out was clear: I was in the midst of prodromal labor. 

What is prodromal labor you ask? 

Prodromal labor is labor that starts and stops (sometimes for days or weeks), feels and acts like real labor but doesn't eventually produce a baby like active labor does. 

So here I was for days having very real contractions that wouldn't produce a baby. You can imagine how frustrating and upsetting that is for a mom, especially anxious due to her first baby, to be having these painful contractions! I know first hand just how defeated a mother can feel when she experiences this kind of labor. Your #nwpadoulas are here to hear your frustrations and support you during this stressful time. We can come be by your side or give you that extra encouragement you need. I know in my case, my support system was the only thing that kept me going! Some moms benefit from things like theraputic rest, a chiropractic adjustment, accupressure or accupunture and more. 

In the end, I did end up having a beautiful baby girl. My experiences with prodromal labor before real labor were taxing and exhausting but a solid support system was my lifeline. Have you experienced this kind of labor? How did you get through? Tell us in the comments!