Stage 1 Labor has 3 different phases: Latent Stage, Active Stage, and Transition. I will break each phase down in its own blog post. Read here to learn about Phase 1.
Phase 2 - Active Stage
What is happening - Moderate to strong contractions coming 3-5 minutes apart are helping you to dilate to 4-7 cm. This stage may last around 3-6 hours.
What you can do - Make sure you have a support person with you to cheer you on and encourage you and ensure your birth plan is carried out. Rest more frequently. Use relaxation techniques in between contractions. Change positions every 2 hours or less to help with descent of head. Drink water. Void every 2 hours. At some point during this stage, it will get harder to talk and be distracted. Start visualization techniques. Focus on relaxed /deep breathing techniques. Continue to walk as much as possible. Eat as able.
Resting/relaxation activities - Use a labor (exercise) ball for comfort during contractions (sit on it and rock or kneel while leaning on it and rock back and forth, take a bath or shower, start at the head and go to the toes in progressive relaxation exercises, listen to soothing music, get a massage
Natural Solution Ideas
Continue to use relaxation natural solution ideas from Phase 1.
Diffuse the Invigorating Blend to uplift the mood and disposition and refresh.
Diffuse the Joyful Blend to uplift and calm, create a joyful atmosphere, help balance and stabilize the emotions, decrease feelings of being overwhelmed, and raise physical and emotional energy levels.
Inhale or diffuse Peppermint to help with anxious feelings, energize, open the airways to help body increase oxygen levels or apply to the lower back to cool the body and help with labor pain. Apply to a cool, wet washcloth to help cool the body when feeling hot.
Apply Geranium to the abdomen or lower back to help with labor pains and increase circulation and help with focused breathing.
Apply Basil and/or Black Pepper to lower back to help with labor pains when they are starting to overwhelm. Black Pepper is especially helpful for back labor pains.
Use Clary Sage on the abdomen to help with effective contractions. This can also help create a euphoric mood.
Use Myrrh along with Clary Sage to intensify contractions if needed or help get labor moving if it stalls out.
Apply the Grounding Blend to the bottoms of the feet to help balance and ground the body, promote relaxation, increase sense of courage and empowerment, and decrease fears.
To read about Phase 3 of Stage 1 Labor, click here.
To read all posts in this Labor & Delivery & Beyond Blog Series, access the links in this introductory post.
Read more about the Doula Services that Christine Russell, RN offers.