The average labor is usually 12-18 hours for a first pregnancy, not including inductions. However, sometimes labor lasts longer because of physical issues or your baby scooting into a better position. Other times, labor might last longer due to fear of becoming a parent or of your surroundings. Lots of people just don’t like hospitals! Here are 4 tips for coping with a longer labor:
- Remain at home as long as you can
- Don’t look at the time
- Accept the situation for what it is
- Use your means for comfort
You’re the most comfortable in your own home. You’re able to move around, eat whatever you want to, watch Netflix, or play on your phone. You also have your own shower and bathroom. It’s so much easier to pass the time in your own home. Plus, going into the hospital too early might cause your labor to stall.
It’s crazy tempting to stare at the clock when you’re in labor. After all, you’ve been told to count the minutes and seconds in between contractions. You might be wondering ‘how long have I been in labor?’ or ‘when will I finally see my baby?’ These questions can keep you from focusing on the work of labor. We suggest removing any clocks that are near you, or cover them.
Try to go with the flow and follow your labor’s lead. There may be parts of your labor that are slower and calmer; use those moments to rest or nap. These calmer moments are your body’s way of giving you a break before continuing. Use these breaks to your advantage whenever you can.
Let those around you help you relax and help out. Maybe a back rub would help, or short walk in the hall. Keeping calm through labor will require less energy and make you more relaxed, which will help your labor move along. If you plan to get an epidural, try and move around as much as you can beforehand, to progress your labor.
We aren’t medical professionals, so make sure to follow your doctor’s and nurse’s leads during labor.