Early labour is the start of your birth journey

Early labour, or as its otherwise known- the latent phase is the beginning stage of labour, and can actually begin a few days before your baby is born. It can look different for every woman, some don’t even realise anything is happening, while others will be very aware of it. Officially, it is from when your uterus starts working, until you are 3cm dilated. Once you reach 4cm dilated you are officially in “active labour”. 


My top tips for early labour are all about giving you ideas for how you can get some rest, and things you might like to consider to help you through it. I actually recommend setting a little plan for early labour during your pregnancy, so you already have ideas of what you might do. 

As I said, some woman may not even be aware that anything is happening, but some will be very aware and will feel the sensations of your body starting to work, your contractions (or surges) starting. 

I always say, one of the best things you can do when your labour starts, is to ignore it for as long as possible! Don’t give your labour attention until you need to. 

Now is the time to rest, eat, drink and get into that beautiful calm place for when things do start to ramp up.

Remember, birth is an intense physical experience, so just as we wouldn’t go off at a sprint at the start of a marathon, we also don’t want to go chasing after labour, and exhausting yourself before the main event! 

Here are my tips for early labour

add them to your plan and use whichever you need when the time comes.

  • Eat small, nourishing meals if you feel like it- great to keep your energy up for labour and birth.
  • Drink. Keep yourself hydrated by sipping on water.
  • Set up your beautiful birth environment- even if you’re birthing away from home, you will want to stay at home for as long as possible, so setting up the environment is really beneficial. Think low lighting, lovely smells, calm, quiet, and relaxed. 
  • Rest when you can- relax, breathe and use your Calm Arrivals Hypnobirthing tools that we covered on your Hypnobirthing Course .
  • Sit on your birth ball when you’re awake, watch funny movies or listen to your birth playlist.
  • Put on your Calm Arrivals Hypnobirthing tracks. 
  • Have a warm shower or bath (make sure you take off your tens machine if using one!)
  • You might want to sleep if you can, remain active when you’re awake, perhaps go for a gentle walk or just potter about as usual.

Early labour is really the time to get into that oxytocin bubble, and really start to tune in to what your body feels like doing, and what instinctively you want to do.

Call your care team when you feel like it is time, when your contractions are coming around 3 in 10 minutes, or if you have any worries. 

Remember- this is the start of your journey to holding your baby in your arms, you got this!

Photos credit @milkandhannah

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