Prodromes: what they are, what are the symptoms and their duration

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Marie-Ange Demory
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The prodromes indicate the period of time from the appearance of the first contractions to the beginning of actual labor. It is a very uncertain period, which can last for hours or whole days and which puts a strain on expectant mothers. 
At that moment the woman must understand what is happening to her, she must hear her own breathing and try to calm down and rest as much as possible. It is a tiring phase, but necessary to get ready to give birth. In fact, childbirth is usually divided into four phases: prodromal, dilating, expulsive, afterbirth phase. The dilating and expulsive phases are those of active labor. Here the contractions are more regular and more painful and last about fifty seconds each at a distance of five minutes from each other.

Let's find out the symptoms and duration of prodrome together.

In this article

  • What are prodromes
  • Early symptoms
  • Their duration


Read also: What are the prodrome of labor? Video

What are prodromes

We are watching a movie and all of a sudden we feel a pain in the belly. We don't know what it is, maybe it's just the kid who kicked it. It is very close to his arrival, so we know that the first contractions must arrive. But it is the first child and therefore, in addition to the pre-birth course, we do not know exactly what these pangs are in practice.

After a few minutes there is another pang, perhaps more painful. Our companion is there next to us and he sees our face change expression. He, who does not feel evil, but who is more afraid than us because he does not know what is happening at all. What he has to do from that moment is to support you, because from that moment the period that will then lead to the actual birth begins.

The prodromes are just that. A continuous increase of contractions, more or less painful, initially without a precise time and duration, but which then settle down and then it means that we are ready to go to the hospital. The prodrome of labor is the "period characterized by uterine contractions perceived as painful by the woman, accompanied by variable changes in the cervix, including some degree of smoothing and a slow progression of dilation until reaching 5 cm of dilation regardless of parity".

Early symptoms

The main symptom of prodrome are precisely the irregular contractions, which are not to be confused with the contractions of Braxton Hicks. The prodromes have long pauses between them and also change the intensity. If you go to the hospital too early in a phase of labor that is still at the beginning, the risk is that the contractions will stop and the times will be lengthened. It is therefore better to stay at home as much as possible, quiet, until the times between one contraction and the next are shortened and become constant.

Their duration

As mentioned, the duration of the prodromes is not certain. There is no specific time and it depends on the person. There are women who have had a prodromal duration of days, others instead for a few hours. What makes them prodromal is their irregularity. There are long pauses between the one and the other and they also change for the intensity. If this has not happened in the previous weeks, there may be a loss of the mucous plug during these hours. This does not involve rushing to the hospital, but it does mean that something is moving in the right direction and the contractions of labor will begin, much more regular, close and intense. It is defined labor started when the cervix is ​​softer, shortens and begins to dilate and when regular contractions do not have intervals greater than 10 minutes.

Article sources: Multimedia

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