Whether your labor ends up being 6 hours or 36 hours, at a certain point your energy stores will be depleted and you will feel exhausted. Your body is hard at work, and it's certainly difficult to labour effectively when you are wiped!
As a runner, I've learned overtime that I can't expect to perform well in a race environment if I sprint out of the gate, or if I don't fuel my body properly throughout the course. Hard lessons to learn, but they apply to childbirth as well.
There are a few things you can do during labour and birth to restore your energy, and they may not be things that you would originally think of.
Take a walk - a change of scenery can do wonders to restore your mental energy
Juice and water - staying hydrated is key to digging deep during the most strenuous endurance tests, so the same goes for labour!
Honey - popping a honey stick or sucking on a honey candy can provide the wonderful natural energy boost that honey provides!
Nap - if you're exhausted, your body may just need a nap to recover. If you're experiencing a long early labour, you may want to rest as much as you can to preserve your energy before active labour hits.
Talk to a friend - sounds weird, right? Have a conversation with a friend during labour? Well, sometimes a pep talk from a good friend who can help you see your strength is all you need to push through and continue!
Whatever brings you those happy, strong, confident feelings...do that. Follow your instincts and let others around you know when you need a break, a sip of juice, to go for a walk or just need some quiet time.
You're in control, mama! This is your birth - you call the shots!