Signs of Labor : Early Signs and Symptoms

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Early Signs of Labor

Labor is the last stage of pregnancy and beginning of the stage of childbirth. Labor pain is a recurrent pain felt by a pregnant lady during the process of childbirth. Every woman experiences different types of pain. For some, the pain is unbearable and for some it is not that difficult and easy to bear.

5 Signs that you are in Labor

● Dropping of the baby

Dropping of the baby down and settling it into the pelvis. If this is your first baby, it can start before a month of your labor begins. If you had a baby before, you will feel it when your labor actually begins.

This process is also known as lightning, as your baby moves away from your lungs and you breathe easier. And at the same time, you feel heavier at your pelvis and add pressure on your bladder because of which you want to pee often. You might leak when you walk. And it can be checked by pelvic examination.

● Feeling more Braxton Hicks contractions

These are fake contractions the uterus makes in early pregnancy. They are not very painful. So, don’t be fooled with these fake contractions. They get stronger and longer with time. These fake contractions do have a purpose to help in strengthening the uterus and prepare the pelvis for the real ones. Braxton hicks contractions are not necessarily needed for labor. So, if you don’t have them, don’t worry.

● The cervix starts ripening

The cervix starts getting softer, thin and open. You can’t feel it exactly but you can know this with the help of a pelvic examination done by a doctor or midwife.

● Passing of mucus plug

The mucus is a thick liquid that seals the cervix and shuts it during the pregnancy. When the cervix starts getting softer and open, the mucus starts coming out. The mucus looks more like a lump, thick discharge. It can be mixed with blood and can be red brown in colour. Leaking of mucus may give you a sign that your labor may start in a few days but still it’s not a guarantee that the labor will start.

● Water Break

This is actually not water but a fluid which fills amniotic sac surrounding the baby. When the sac ruptures, the fluid leaks from the vagina. In most women, the sac does not rupture until they are having regular contractions. But, sometimes the water breaks first and the labor follows soon. It generally does not come in a gush, it starts leaking out till the baby comes out. If you see that your water has broken, immediately call your doctor or midwife. They may want your baby to come in 12 to 24 hours of the water break to reduce the risk of infection since the amniotic sac which was protecting the baby is ruptured now.

“The pain you will be feeling, cannot compare the joy that will come”

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