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The last days and weeks of pregnancy seem like an endless waiting game. So what happens when your labour journey begins with another wait while you undergo an induction?


We assume labour will start naturally at home, or at the very least, with a big splash at the grocery store. But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes labour begins with a phone call and a spot on the induction list.


And that wait can seem interminable! We don’t usually expect to show up to the hospital until labour is well under way, so this can be an unexpected wait time for time. Here’s how to stop that feeling that the clock is going backwards.


Five things to do during an early induction


1. Set up your birthing space.

Take this time to really get settled in. Many birthers are just go with the flow, but if you’re like me, your list of birth preferences may include things like music playing, wearing your own comfortable clothing or having mantras up on the walls. When you get to the hospital in full blown labour, these wishes by necessity often get thrown to the side. One benefit to starting with an induction is that you have time to get these little details right.


2. Eat (if you're allowed)

Labour is a marathon, not a sprint. There is a large body of research out there that supports continuing to eat and drink lightly during early labour. I recommend looking at the information out there, and discussing it with your care provider. If they give the go ahead, the early hours of induction can be a great time to support your body with some nutritious food.


3. Sleep! Even if it's during the day.

See above re: marathon, not a sprint. It can feel funny to sleep during the day, but you will be so glad you did! Put some headphones with spa music or white noise on, close the curtains and let your body relax. Even if you don’t drift off totally, your body will appreciate the recharge time!

It may be an option to start your induction in the evening, which can be a fantastic plan if the induction is not urgent. This may allow you the chance to get settled into the hospital, start the process, and then grab several hours of sleep before things pick up.


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4. Binge watch that netflix series you've been meaning to start.

If you really can’t sleep, then resting and keeping your mind occupied can be the next best thing. A great TV show, new or old, can be just the thing to stop you from timing every single may-be contraction before you need to. One of my favourite labours to date was one where mom decided to put on old episodes of Sex and the City while waiting for her rushes to pick up intensity. It helped keep her mind off the time, and the endorphin rush from feel good tv is never a bad thing!

5. Talk to your partner or support people.

If none of the above appeal to you, I love the old fall back of simple chatter. Whether it’s nostalgic memories about high school, or a discussion of the best Disney World ride, good conversation with good people can make the time fly by, and gives you something to focus on in between contractions.



Ready for your induction? Not quite sure? Hiring a doula ensures that you always have someone on hand with suggestions and support. Reach out today!