A Complementary Tool Provided by Bold Doula! Not To Replace Information From Prenatal Clinician.
If you are clinically cleared to labor at home with no instruction to go to the hospital at the immediate onset of your contractions, this article may be of support to you. 

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You may notice     your mucus plug discharging          from  your vagina when you wipe after using the bathroom.

This may occur over a span of several days, make sure your prenatal provider & your doula are in the know!

Laboring at home is helpful in a familiar space.

It's best to have a  few things on hand  to support you as your labor continues. 

Hydration, sugar & protein are all helpful to support your body in labor.

Coconut water, Jello (any flavor), broth, water, apple juice, ice pops, apple sauce, toast with jelly & butter. Electrolyte water. So long as you have no allergies to any of these light foods, you should be comfortable. 

Consider avoiding heavy foods: rice, potatoes, pasta, meats & dairy as you may have nausea & vomiting as part of your labor. Keep in mind your labor is your body going though an intense workout. 

You are not to be totally depleted by not eating or drinking, it is best to eat as light as possible & stay hydrated; like you are at the gym. Treat your labor like a workout. Your body needs hydration & simple nutrients. Eating a full heavy meal is an option you will decide upon. Try not to eat as a result of anxiety.

C-O-A-T Be Able To Look & Determine
When Your Water Breaks. Your baby is surrounded in amniotic fluid, when your water breaks, try to use COAT. Notice the C-O-A-T of the fluid that surrounds your baby:
C = Color, is it clear, cloudy, dark, bloody, or has dark stuff in it?
O = Odor, is there a fishy smell or unpleasant odor or does it smell slightly sweet or you can’t smell it at all.
A = Amount,  a trickle or a gush? Do you need to wear a pad or does it only come out when you sit, laugh, cough, or have a contraction?
T = Time, what time your water break? 
You will need know all of this when calling your provider & doula. 

Contraction Counting & Tracking When your contractions are no longer Braxton-Hicks, They are progressing. It’s so helpful to have a tool monitoring & recording the frequency, duration and longevity of your contractions. There are many apps on your smartphone that you can use for this. Contractions are to be consistent. Many practices use a 5:1:1 rule. You will need this information when speaking with your prenatal provider & doula. 

Your contractions must be consistent.

It is best to review all of the above during your last trimester with your prenatal provider. If you are taking childbirth education classes, be sure to ask as many questions as possible to obtain the best understanding. Remember, understanding is empowerment! 

Supporting Tools and Techniques

While laboring at home, you may want to use the shower for relaxation with contractions. If your water has not broke you may sit in a tub of warm water, not hot water. 

Please always be supervised while in tub/shower. 

Please have someone with you at all times.

Taking a walk, squatting, dancing, using a birth ball, & yoga mat are also helpful tools to labor at home. Music, TV, & aroma therapy can also be used.

SLEEP! Yes, sleeping is the very best thing when you can while in labor: Sleep allows the conscious mind to rest; the subconscious comes forward in a state of relaxation, your labor can progress freely without the restrictions of being conscious/awake. If you can sleep, please take that break & do so!

***Make sure all child care and pet care supports are in place so when going to the hospital, birthing center, or home birth these concerns are already addressed & supported.

***Have your bag, baby’s bag, car seat and father/partner’s bag already to go as well as the newborn car seat already installed in the car.

Happy Healthy, Successful, Safe Laboring At Home! 

Always Keep Your Prenatal Provider & Birth Doula In The Know!