Hahaha! When I first saw the title of this thread my first thought was DON'T DO IT!!!! I'm trying not to obsess over every twinge and sign in my body. This is especially important if birthing at the hospital because I truly believe that my 1st and 3rd births which were hospital births were long and miserable because I did this. I obsessed over normal pre-labor/early labor stuff...ended up going to the hospital a little too soon which set me up for interventions that ultimately made for a more difficult labor. I ran across this website and I think it has really good info: http://www.birthingnaturally.net/birth/progress/elmistake.html
Early Labor Mistakes:
Paying Attention Too Soon
One of the hardest lessons for first time mothers to learn is that you should really try to ignore your contractions until they demand your attention. It seems one of the most common mistakes women make is to pay attention to labor too soon.
When you begin counting the hours of labor and timing contractions in early labor, or even pre-labor, you set yourself up for a very boring and long labor process. It is normal for your body to have mild and painless contractions for hours or days before labor actually begins. Timing the contractions and counting the hours will not make the process happen any faster.
A good rule of thumb is to not time contractions unless you have some reason to think that there has been progress in the labor. You might notice the contractions are much stronger, or the mother is having to work to relax through the contractions. Even so, it is only recommended to time about five contractions, average them out and then not time them again until you see some other indicator of progress.
Another common mistake is to try comfort techniques before they are needed. If your contractions are mild enough to ignore them, do so. Sooner or later, your labor will get to the point that you cannot ignore the contractions any more. At that point, begin to use the comfort measures and labor techniques you have learned.
Trying to force your labor by doing labor techniques and timing contractions will hurt you because you will find the time passes very slowly, and you will waste both mental and physical energy when you could have easily ignored the contractions.
Light or mild contractions that start when you would normally be sleeping can be one of the worst starts to a labor. When this happens, many women are too excited or too nervous to sleep, and so begin their labor with a lack of sleep.
Being tired reduces a body's ability to handle stress, including the stress of labor. Fatigue is also an indicator for increased discomfort during labor, and a common reason given for using medication during labor. If you are serious about trying to labor without medication, you need to be serious about getting adequate rest in the days and weeks leading up to your labor.
But even being told that sleep is important doesn't seem to calm the anxious souls of first time moms. In that case, it can be helpful to keep repeating to yourself, "I will not sleep through the birth of my baby." If you can sleep during early labor, and it is a normal time to sleep, you should sleep.
Most hospitals have a policy that restricts eating during labor. This rule has nothing to do with the normal process of labor or the safety of eating during labor. It is a rule because of the possible complications of medications used for surgery. But still, many women believe that they should not eat once labor begins.
The body is designed to naturally decrease the appetite as labor progresses. When the body is hungry it is because the blood sugar levels are low and need to be raised. Not eating during labor will reduce your energy, increase your fatigue, and decrease your ability to deal with the stress of labor. Hunger is a sign you are most likely still in early labor, and should eat something.
Stopping Regular Activity
Inevitably, there are mothers and grandmothers who try to convince women that once labor starts, you have to stop everything and lie down. Just like paying attention to the labor too soon, this behavior will set the mother up for a terribly long and boring labor. It may cause her to become overly fatigued mentally and emotionally.
As long as physically possible, you should continue normal activities during labor. For some women, this will be well into active labor with stops for the peak of contractions. It is not unsafe to go about your regular daily routine in labor. When it is time to pay attention, your body will alert you.
Going to the Hospital Too Soon
Many first time mothers get mixed messages from friends and family members about how to react when labor begins. This confusion can lead to another common mistake in early labor, going to the hospital too soon.
Much worse than just stopping normal activity or timing every contraction, going to the hospital too early removes every possible normal distraction available to pass the time while labor builds. The mother in the hospital finds her activities restricted, and may even feel she needs to remain in bed. This works to prevent her movement, which makes it more difficult for the baby to move through the pelvis and may even cause labor to be longer than average.
Many hospitals will send a woman home if she is not yet 4 centimeters dilated. However, it is common for women to request to stay because of the emotional energy they expanded in coming to the hospital. To be sent home without a baby feels like failure and being let down. So many women will accept medications to speed labor rather than go home if they get to the hospital too soon.
These are the things that I worry about, that I've made the mistake of doing some of them in my previous births. (This is #5 for me). I'm not birthing in a hospital this time but I wanted to share this with you all because I CARE and don't want you to make some of these mistakes that make for a needlessly difficult labor. SORRY TO BE A BUZZ KILL, MAMAS!!!