What Can I Do to Slow Down Labor and Delivery?
We kid, we kid. It's okay if you want to take your time, like if you're waiting for your partner to get home, for example, or you don't want your early labor to progress too quickly. (Although if things start feeling like an emergency, just call a darn cab!)
Also, about 12 percent of women go into preterm labor, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Labor and delivery before 37 weeks leaves baby at risk for breathing problems and other health issues, so if your doctor has told you that you are at risk for preterm labor, you'll want to know what you can do to postpone labor and delivery.
The most significant way to slow down labor at home is to lie down, preferably on your left side to maintain blood flow. That's why high-risk pregnancies are often confined to bed rest - without gravity to help the baby's head push on the cervix, labor and delivery doesn't progress as fast. Drinking plenty of water will also help, since dehydration can increase uterine contractions.
If these home methods aren't enough, you may need to go to the hospital, where your doctor may administer magnesium sulfate or terbutaline to relax the muscles of the uterus, delaying labor and delivery.
It's worth noting that women whose labor and delivery is induced with pitocin are at risk for slower, more protracted labor. It makes sense - the body wasn't ready yet. Women who have inductions are about three times more likely to end up with a C-section than a normal vaginal labor and delivery.
Epidurals also tend to slow things down, but just a bit. Generally, they only extend labor and delivery by about a half hour, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's normal to want to manage full-term labor and delivery so that you can calmly get your affairs in order before heading to the hospital, but if you believe that you're going into early labor, call your doctor immediately.