Signs of Labor

To the pregnancy women, labor is possibly one of the most expected aspects of pregnancy. However, there’s no technique to predict exactly when it will begin. For some moms, labor starts unexpectedly and progresses rapidly, for others, it is really a laborious process, stretching for numerous hours to many days. 

Some common signs of labor

Normally, most women will find many physical changes when their bodies get ready for labor and delivery. These labor signs and symptoms can begin many days to weeks before actual labor begins.

The baby “dropping”

This is also known as lightening that happens when the baby drops or settles lower into the pelvis. Every mom carries her baby a little differently, and some who have carried low will not feel this change as readily as a mom who might have carried high. When your cervix softens, the baby will start dropping until his head is fully placed on the cervix. One of the labor symptoms to watch for is an higher heaviness or pressure in your pelvis. You may feel the need to urinate more frequently. Another unpleasant side effect of the baby dropping is increased swelling in the legs and feet because of added pressure on the blood vessels. The upside to lightening is that it does take pressure off of your diaphragm, offering easier breathing. You can even get a break from heartburn at this time.

More Braxton Hicks contractions

More frequent and strong Braxton Hicks contractions can be a signs of pre-labor. As labor steps, basically, the uterus starts to warm up in preparation for the intense workout it will undergo during labor and delivery. One way to figure out if you are experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions and not labor contractions is to clear your bladder, drink a glass of water and lie down. With Braxton Hicks, they should decrease within ten minutes.

Nesting instinct

Some women notice a burst of energy a few days prior to going into labor. This is nature’s way of helping ensure everything is ready when the new baby arrives. Nesting is probably prompted by hormones, and the instinctual wish to prepare the “nest” for offspring

Bloody show

When the cervix thins and begins to open to prepare for delivery, small capillaries burst and cause a pink or brown vaginal discharge. Dilation of the cervix is also described as “ripening” of the cervix. The mucous plug, which has sealed the cervix throughout the pregnancy, dislodges. It will appear like pink or blood-tinged stringy mucus. Bloody show can happen anywhere from hours to several weeks prior to delivery. If the discharge is bright red, or more than an ounce is present, a problem with the placenta may have happened, and you should contact your doctor immediately.

Your water breaks

When the fluid-filled amniotic sac surrounding your baby ruptures, fluid leaks from your vagina. And whether it comes out in a large gush or a small trickle, you should call your doctor or midwife.

Most women begin having regular contractions before their water breaks, however in some cases, the water breaks first. When this occurs, labor usually follows soon. If you don’t start having contractions on your own within a certain amount of time, you’ll need to be induced, because your baby’s more likely to get an infection without the amniotic sac’s protection against germs.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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