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Safe Laboring at Home

A Supplemental Guide Not a Replacement for Professional Prenatal Advice

Being informed that you can safely experience the early stages of labor at home can be empowering. If your healthcare provider has given you the green light to stay home during the initial phase of labor, here are some insights to support you through this period.

Understanding Early Signs

One of the first signs that labor is on the horizon may include the discharge of your mucus plug. This can happen gradually over several days. Keep your healthcare team and doula informed about such developments.

Creating a Comfortable Labor Environment

Laboring at home allows you to be in a familiar and comforting space. To make this experience as smooth as possible, a few preparations can go a long way:

Nutrition and Hydration: Keeping your body nourished and hydrated is crucial. Opt for light, easily digestible foods and fluids like coconut water, jello, broth, apple juice, ice pops, applesauce, and toast with jelly. Electrolyte-infused water can also be beneficial. Avoid heavy foods that may lead to nausea.

Monitoring Signs of Labor Progression: Recognizing when your water breaks is vital. Remember the acronym C.O.A.T. to assess the amniotic fluid:

Color: Observe the color—is it clear, cloudy, or tinged with blood?

Odor: Notice any distinct smells.

Amount: Assess whether it's a trickle or a gush.

Time: Record the time your water breaks.

Tracking Contractions

When contractions shift from Braxton-Hicks to more rhythmic, progressing ones, tracking their frequency, duration, and pattern becomes essential. Many apps are available to help with this task. The 5-1-1 rule (contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for at least 1 hour) is commonly used to gauge when to contact your healthcare provider.

Preparation is Key

Discuss these strategies with your prenatal provider during the last trimester and ask questions in any childbirth education classes you attend. Knowledge is not just power—it's empowerment.

*This guide is designed to complement, not replace, the advice from your prenatal care team. Always follow their guidance and contact your doula for support as you navigate early labor at home.


Denise Bolds, Bold Doula

Hi, I'm Denise

I'm Bold Doula, a passionate birth doula who advocates for empowering birth experiences. If you're looking for support or guidance on your journey to parenthood, please reach out. I'd love to help you navigate this transformative time with confidence and care!

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