Labor happens differently to different women and there is a wide range of signs and symptoms that signal the beginning of labor. A lot of women experience false alarms several times, especially if it is their second pregnancy and might not realize till quite some time when the real one arrives. It is true that there is no need to rush into things beforehand but knowing the signs of labor is important to let your medical team know at the earliest so that everything is arranged for to allow an easy and hassle-free birth.
Know The 5 Prominent Signs Of Labor As You Proceed In Pregnancy:
You may be familiar with Braxton Hicks contractions through the latter half of pregnancy. Real labor is an intensified version of these contractions. It might start off as period cramps and lower back aches and graduate to more powerful and painful surges.
The frequency of contractions will increase and so will the strength. If you feel strong contractions or tightening in your lower abdomen, and if they keep coming back at regular intervals, it could be real labor. You must inform your midwife, medical team or hospital about it so that they can advise you accordingly.
3. Water Breaking
If at any point in time, you feel the trickling of liquid down your legs that does not look like urine leak; your waters might have broken. This happens when the membranes rupture1 and the amniotic fluid starts to leak, heralding labor. This can happen right before you go into real labor or quite some time ahead of it. You must inform your doctor right away but stay away from internal examinations at this stage because that can lead to infections.
4. Bloody Show
This is medically termed as passing the mucus plug. You might experience a brownish or blood-tinged discharge that is basically the loss of the mucus plug that keeps your cervix sealed. This signals impending labor and you might deliver very soon after this happens. This may or may not be accompanied with labor pains.
5. Stomach Troubles
A few days ahead of labor, you might have an upset tummy and may feel anxious and restless. Loose bowels may also come along and it is very essential to stay hydrated at this point.
What You Should Know About Labor
A contraction that comes every five minutes and last at least a minute is what real labor sounds like but like every pregnancy is different, so is every labor. There is no fixed pattern.
The real thing feels like repeated surges that build up during which you might not be able to speak, feel hot and anxious and also lean forward to easy yourself out of the contraction. This is when you should revisit all your breathing and relaxation techniques to feel better.
Contractions do not necessarily mean labor. You might hardly be dilated one day and be ready to birth the very next day. Whatever be the situation, always look out for the red flags and keep practicing your prenatal exercises till you are ready to push out the baby.