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Navigating Prodromal Labor & 5 ways to make Labor Induction more favorable.

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

The Birth Story of the first addition to the Diaz Family ~ Michael Dean born November 3rd, 2017 @ 11:16pm

Dad meets his baby | natural birth

I have never met a mom whose idea of fun was weeks of challenging contractions prior to active labor but it happens. It is thought that baby's position is what causes prodromal labor. So, if our body is actually trying to adjust baby's position, statistically speaking, childbirth experts believe around 15-30% of babies are posterior and up to 50% of babies tend toward posterior in early labor. You might consider a good chiropractor who specializes in adjusting the pregnant pelvis. The Webster technique is often recommended for breech positions but why not consider for simply encouraging a baby into a more favorable position? Even something as simple as an inversion position or correcting poor posture can help. But, what if you believe your baby to be in an optimal position and sadly subjected yourself to an internal exam during late pregnancy? Although, there is no way to no for sure, many expectant moms have shared prodromal labor began after an unpleasant or worse an internal exam in which the mom felt "violated" as in the labor and birth story of Shelby Diaz. Of course, there is no way to be positive, but something about bleeding not just a little spotting after an internal exam that had us all raising red flags. Why did she subject herself to an internal exam prior to labor? Good question. Did you know an internal exam is pointless unless we are in active labor or having some sort of warning sign such as spotting/ bleeding. In Shelby's situation, the purpose was to clear her to travel 7-8 hrs away to the beach. I know- I know but she really wanted to go. The couple trained twelve weeks in The Bradley Method (r) and had knowledge of he pros & cons of interventions like this.

Bradley Method ® training

Stages of Labor | childbirth class fun

To be more specific, her doctor wanted to confirm there wasn't anything going on with her cervix, in which she would've asked her to refrain from traveling and instead she left the prenatal visit feeling very violated and bleeding for over 17 hours.

1). EFFACEMENT: Did you know there is natural prostaglandins in dad's semen? Better yet, did you know that semen deposit can often do what I say this way, "What got you into this - could get you out!" The natural prostaglandins can help efface/thin your cervix. The catch is you must keep the deposit up against your cervix for it to assist you. With a little teamwork from Stephen, Shelby arrived at her birth place 75% effaced.

2). WALK: Often early labor/ pre-labor contractions are brought on by activity especially walking. I am a big fan of inclines! I encouraged Shelby to tackle that huge hill in her neighborhood... she did a great job! Stephen even put us out the day of her scheduled induction at the street and she & I walked up that giant hill and to the house prior to heading out to the hospital. Also, did you know walking speeds labor around 28% you can't go wrong with change of positions & particular walking especially if an induction is involved sadly if the use of pitocin is used walking is often a big challenge unless wireless monitors are offered. Shelby arrived at her birth place 4cm with a little help from a huge hill in her subdivision. I am a personal believer of walking inclines to progress labor.

3). EATING UNIQUE FOODS: Although, it is not everyone's secret charm to get into labor, often we are successful in taking mom on a girl date, feeding her interesting foods (often things like eggplant, weird sauces, etc.) most of this success I believe comes from getting the gut all worked up. We do have a natural cleansing process that typically takes place during early first stage labor. Even taking olive oil shots with your meal could help with a more gentle cleanse. Only the desperate resort to castrol oil. I mean who wants to have contractions and diarrhea? Not Shelby- I didn't blame her! One of my favorite restaurants in Ga, called Provino's, will give you a free meal if you have the eggplant and go into labor, just make sure you sign the book. In Charlotte area, Hawthorne's restaurant specializes in their version of "labor inducing chicken wing pizza." The key in my opinion, try something different, something you would typically never consume... have fun and be adventurous.

4) STAY CALM: Did you know many women shut their own contractions down by producing stress hormones? Women are often guilty of staying in their head too much. Stop worrying about things you can't control and simply focus on your relaxation. Don't focus on the what if's of labor and birth. Visualize your perfect birth experience with a smile on your face. Go to the dinner party, unless the contractions are stopping you in your tracks- just ignore them as long as possible. Mom should also stay clear of stress, stay clear of those who stress her out and even avoid over excitement near term. "Be the elevator music", I say. The elevator music never changes its always boring- no peaks- no valleys, just plain & calming. Think this is easy, well tell that to the mom who has seen her due date pass her by or in Shelby's case, all her childbirth classmates birth before her... to say she was not thrilled about that would be an understatement, especially because she had been 2-3 cm dilated for weeks.

5). RANDOMNESS: Have fun. Don't get stuck in a routine near term. Switch it up- forget for a while you are pregnant take in a funny movie or enjoy a dip in the swimming pool, etc. Also, let us not forget that orgasm and nipple stimulation both release natural oxytocin. In case you are not familiar, oxytocin is your natural pitocin. Mom & Dad have fun with that random info... Shelby expressed her discontent with the breast pump- not her idea of fun before labor and not her idea of fun now... bless!

Shelby and Stephen faced many challenges throughout pregnancy. The days leading up to her labor and birth were no different. Yet another reason why I am so exceptionally proud of their decision making. Some couples have few obstacles, sadly these two had more than their share near term. Let's start with her doctor dropped a bomb on her that she was going out of town and would not be present for her birth. She suggested an induction with one specific doctor who was on call that weekend because as her doctor put it, "the other doctors are more c-section happy." This catch phrase sent Shelby into a slight panic mode. Kind of hard to stay calm when the universe seems to be filling your space with a variety of stressful tension. We discussed a plan of action for her. Stephen & Shelby decided they would move forward with the induction and would do the prep work at home, arrive at their birth place, have minimal dose pitocin to begin labor. The good news is Shelby had been contracting for weeks. I was hoping it wouldn't take much to tip her into full blown labor. Her cervix was favorable 4 cm dilated already and 75% effaced. This should be a cake walk right? Let's not be fooled into ever thinking an induction is the easy way out. Man made contractions are not the same as what is felt when your body enters labor spontaneously. Proper training, however, can make all the difference. Knowing what to do during a contraction and what not to do is key. I was super proud of Stephen & Shelby for training twelve weeks in The Bradley Method ® training for natural birth. With knowledge there is power and boy would we need that power on induction day.

Counter pressure for back labor | Husband Coached Childbirth

The day started out great. We all met for breakfast @ Strickland's in Athens. We had a yummy filling country breakfast and then onto their home to walk the big hill and pack up. When we arrived at the hospital, little did we know what we would be walking into.

It seemed Gwinnett Medical was covered up. We had been sent to the last available labor room and were told they were trying to "find us a nurse." Wow! That was certainly not Then the nurse enters, says hello my name is ____ and in a quite demanding tone of voice insists Shelby puts on her hospital gown. Shelby desired to wait till later to change out of her comfy clothes. The nurse replies, Sometimes emergencies occur and you may have to have a c-section therefore you must put on this gown... I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I saw the instant look of SHOCK on Shelby's face and I quickly intervened. I replied, Listen we are not your enemy here. I assure you when it gets close to having a baby she will be either half dressed or completely undressed before we birth a baby, she just doesn't want to change now. She bowed up at me and said, Are you a nurse? I replied, No. I am a Doula. She said, well I am and I have been doing this for 27 years. She has to put on her gown. I took one step toward her and said, I ALSO have been doing this for 27 years and this is not necessary! She finally left the room. We all were like REALLY? WOW! We literally prayed in the LDR room for productive labor & cooperation of staff.

Prayer Over Labor & Birth

Next, IV time... Oh My don't even get Shelby started on this one. She would most likely have said it was one of the worst parts of her birth experience seeing how multiple nurses, etc. had to stick her 7 different times to successfully land a vein. We were having our own contractions upon arrival but well, after that horribly painful experience of simply establishing a line, yeah all that went away and we were back to little to no working contractions. Next up, pitocin. She began a regiment of 1 drop per minute. Each 30 minute block, the pitocin was turned up and with Stephen' s amazing counter pressure assistance, Shelby rocked every aspect of her hard labor. Multiple nurse changes long before shift change, even lost one after a man yelled out "HELP- someone HELP US... apparently their baby was coming and the nurse ran in to catch it.

Thankfully, all the other nurses who attended seem to be very supportive of Shelby's birth plan. Her OBGYN also supported her desire for more of a hands off labor and internal exams were kept to a minimum. At one point, Shelby's back pain was getting the best of her and we strategized to come off the pitocin by utilizing an amniotomy late in labor so she could get in the tub for more comfort measures. It was a great choice for her. In fact, she didn't want to get out of the tub but it was necessary to birth a baby. Shelby assumed a hands & knees position on the bed to allow gravity to help her baby emerge.

Hands and knees birth

Turning over after birth for skin to skin

Less than 5 pushes and baby is born

In amazement to us all, a quick few pushes and her baby was in her arms.

Skin to skin  | first minutes with new baby

baby sucks his thumb | skin to skin

Third stage labor quickly became one of her biggest challenges as the color was fading fast from her cheeks. The doctor administered multiple doses of pitocin to her thigh (as her IV had blown out prior to birth). She also received two other meds to get bleeding under control including cytotec suppository tablets, all in an effort to control excessive blood loss. Several interesting aspects were noted after birth. Her baby had managed to tie a complete knot in his cord. He is certainly a little miracle, as the knot in the cord could have created significant oxygen reduction to baby and even resulted in death. The good news is the average cord is 21 inches long, long enough to have a loop or two around its neck and still be born naturally. And, in the case of this little fellow, tie a knot in it and still be born just fine. He was a champ throughout the whole experience- fabulous heart rate through it all. Poor thing just couldn't figure out how to get in an anterior position, according to the back labor Shelby Actually, Shelby had a previous back curvature which might be possible it had nothing to do with baby. With orange juice, food and TLC from her husband, mom and a vast extended family BABY DIAZ entered into his fabulous "Birth"day party surrounded by love ones.

Baby's first Bath |

First Bath - he really enjoyed it thanks to this amazing baby nurse, Angie Myers!

Baby's first shampoo in hospital

Sometimes, expectant moms endure challenges during pregnancy, some trying to get into labor, others during labor and some after birth and some like Shelby endured them all and yet still found the JOY in her baby's birth. I could be wrong but I think she would also tell you, although at times it was all consuming & overwhelming, she would give birth the John 16:21 drug free way, with the help of her husband coach, all over again.

Third stage excessive bleeding leaves mom’s energy reserves depleted. You can’t go wrong with two full glasses of orange juice to replenish blood sugars, etc. In your third trimester of pregnancy, prepare in advance by eating blood building foods such as Liver. It is a quick way to build blood. This is especially important if you are a natural redhead, of asian decent, anemic, hypovolemic or Jehovah Witness. I know- I know, don’t shoot the messenger. Cover that liver with some white gravy- its still way better than a blood transfusion!!

Third stage Labor | excessive blood loss

Grandma holds baby for first time

Your Birth Helper specializes in happy “birth” days! Our goal is to support the couple and their wishes for their birth. Shelby & Stephen didn’t just take a childbirth class or just hire a Doula. They educated, they trained, they applied and they joined the best darn #BirthFamily in Athens! You begin as clients you end as family! Welcome to #AthensBirthFamily baby Michael!

#AthensBirthFamily | New mom lunch

-Breastfeeding support meet up-

Mom nurses in public for the first time

-Lunch with classmates- Three set out to have a natural birth & three determined moms succeeded with a little help from YourBirthHelper!!!!!!!!!! So Proud of these warrior women for training & applying!!!!!!!

Celebrating 3 natural births in Athens, GA

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