Contraction surges, waves and the break in between contractions

contraction surges waves

There are a lot of breaks in labour, in strong active labour contractions are approx. 2 to 3 minutes apart. Plenty of time for a wandering mind.

Pregnancy and birth tips from Sydney doula, Danae Cappelletto.

Women can spend this time transforming, learning about themselves. The self-talk of confidence or doubt and often the battle between the 2.

The revolving wash of emotion that comes with the great opening. Joy, love, releasing tears of happiness or feeling defeated or just releasing because your body is purging emotion, elation, anger.

In between the waves, recovering from the last wave and preparing for the next

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose a response. In that response lies our ability to move forward. The pause is an opportunity to do things differently; to think differently.

To choose not to run from the discomfort of fear but turn towards it and breathe into it instead.
To choose not to get lost in despondency and defeatism but to stand up, move around and continue your birthing journey.

Mindfulness practices teach us to recognise that experience is made up of components; the physiological stimulus, the cognitive response and the emotional response. Usually, these aspects are experienced as one indistinguishable flow.

When labour is difficult; when we are tired; when the baby’s stuck, it’s easy to surrender to fear and pain. The pause between surges offers us a window of mental and emotional rest as well as physical rest.

If we can be present in that window to find the deeper space between our own thoughts; space enough to remember you are in charge of your mind. You don’t have to believe the negative thinking. The thoughts that say I’m too tired, I can’t do this; it’s too hard.

Here is your opportunity to choose your response. You have to have the intention to do so. A negative thought can be removed from your mind in an instant when we reconnect with our motivation or a new anchor for the body, mind and spirit.

What happens next is up to you. Its all happening and its all sitting here on the shower floor.


Danae is a Sydney birth doula and pregnancy support specialist. She works with families to provide guidance, information, emotional and physical support during pregnancy and birth.

Danae is Sydney’s first (and only) Optimal Maternal Positioning (OMP) Birth Educator & pregnancy (prenatal) yoga teacher.

If you have any questions about birth and pregancy support and her doula services, don’t hesitate to contact Danae directly.