Signs of Labor
Am I in labor? It is about time to know the Signs of Labor
As your due date approaches, you may wonder:
When will labor begin?
Are symptoms that you are experiencing indicate that labor is about to start?
When should you go to hospital?
Below you will find a list of the most common signs of labor.
Lightening is when your baby moves down from under the rib cage and puts pressure on the opening of the cervix with his/her head.
In women who have carried their babies high, it can physically seen when the baby drops, as their bump will move down too.
You may feel a sense of relief since your rib cage expands more easily which allows to breathe more easily and eat without feeling full so quickly.
You may also feel more pressure on your bladders which causes you to urinate more frequently and have a perpetual feeling that the baby is about to fall out.
These feelings result from the added pressure that the baby's head is placing on the rectum and pelvic floor.
As labor progresses, the cervix thins out and softens,something you won't feel.
Your doctor will check for signs of cervical change by vaginal exams.
Effacement is measured on a percentage basis from 0 to 100 with 0% meaning no thinning and 100% considered complete.
After complete effacement labor is soon coming.
Opening of the cervix
One of the early signs of labor is your cervix beginning to open, or dilate. Your health care provider will measure the dilation in centimeters from zero to 10.
Some women are dilated 2 to 3 centimeters for days or even weeks before labor actually begins.
Loss of mucous plug or Bloody Show
During pregnancy, a thick plug of mucus has sealed the cervical canal to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. When your cervix begins to thin and open, this plug may be discharged.
The plug may come out in a lump or as increased vaginal discharge over the course of several days and It's typically brown and sometimes tinged with blood.
Although losing the mucous plug is one of signs of labor, it's not a guarantee. Labor may still be days away.
Nesting: Burst of Energy
You may feel energetic,having the urge to clean and organize the house.
This burst of energy towards the end of labor is commonly known as nesting and it is is usually strongest just before delivery.
I suggest you save your energy for labor.
The day I gave birth to my fourth baby , I woke up in the morning full with energy to clean the house and prepared some meals and baked cookies for my family.
Your Water Breaks
If your water breaks, labor is not far away.
It can happen at any time of the day and can release in a gush or a trickle.
In any case you should consult your practitioner right away.
During the last term of pregnancy you may feel minor, painless, irregular contractions.
These, called Braxton Hicks contractions
, are a sign your uterus is preparing for the birth of your baby.
As your due date approaches, Braxton Hicks contractions may become stronger or even painful. Eventually, they will be replaced by the real thing.
Return from Signs of Labor to Giving Birth