It’s a joyful day you have been happily or nervously waiting for and here are signs of labour in pregnancy that will announce to you that your bundle of joy want to make his/her grand entrance.
Many expectant Mums especially the first time mums always worried about signs of labour in pregnancy or symptoms that your baby’s first birthday is near.
You must have to know your baby’s estimated due date (EDD). However it is pertinent to note that Labor before the 37th week of pregnancy is a preterm or early term; labor between 37 and 40 weeks is full term; and labor beyond 40 weeks, is late term also it’s few women go into labor on the estimated due and if your pregnancy goes beyond 41 weeks your medical practitioner may recommend induction.
Motherhoodng listed Signs of Labour in pregnancy to help you know you are about to give birth to your baby. Please note that the lists are not in order of how you may experience any of these signs of labour in pregnancy.
- Signs of Labour in pregnancy – Water breaking
Spontaneous rupture of the membranes or “breaking of the waters” is a strong symptom of labour. It happens when the amniotic sac ruptures and the fluid gushes out from the vagina. Once the waters break, you should immediately contact your doctor who would ask for the consistency and colour of the fluid. If it is green, your baby might have emptied her bowel which is a serious indication.
Only around 10% of women experience this sign before labour, while the rest experience it during labour. Sometimes if the waters do not break, the baby is likely to be born in the amniotic sac.
2. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – Cervix dilate
Your cervix, too, is starting to prepare for birth: It starts to dilate (open) and efface (thin out) in the days or weeks before you deliver. At your weekly check-ups in the home stretch of your pregnancy, your provider may measure and track dilation and effacement via an internal exam. But everyone progresses differently, so don’t be discouraged if you’re dilating slowly or not at all yet.
3. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – Bloody show
Ever heard pregnant women say “the bloody show”? well, they are talking about the mucus plug. The mucus plug is what blocks the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus.
When your body starts preparing for the birth of your baby, passing the mucus plug is a sign that your cervix has started dilating.
Not all women would notice this, the mucus plug could be slightly pink, clear or bloodstained. Please keep in mind that losing your mucus plug doesn’t necessarily mean you are in labour. Labour may not start for hours or even days after losing your mucus plug.
4. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – Diarrhea
During the early stage of labour, the body releases prostaglandins, which soften the cervix and contract the uterus. They also stimulate bowel movement, naturally emptying the bowel to make way for the baby. This is a good sign as it helps clean out your tummy and avoid any discomfort during labour.
5. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – Contractions get intense
One of the major signs of true labour is contractions. They will become longer and stronger as you get closer to labour. It is hard to figure out if they are real or false (Braxton Hicks) contractions.
6. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – Nesting
As the name suggests, nesting is the motherly instinct to build a haven for the baby. Amid those heady days of breathlessness and weakness, you might suddenly feel energetic to get up and set the house in order, paint your yet-to-be-born baby’s room, or keep the things ready for them. It is scientifically proven that nesting not just happens in other mammal species but also in humans.
In spite of your energy spurt, don’t give in to your urge. Take rest as labour might be just around the corner.
7. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – increased back pain
Especially if this is not your first pregnancy, you may feel some crampiness and pain in your lower back and groin as labour nears. Your muscles and joints are stretching and shifting in preparation for birth.
8. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – the Sudden burst of energy
If getting up off the sofa is about as much activity as you can manage for most of your last trimester, the sudden spurt of energy you get in the days before labour starts (and the urge to clean out your kitchen cupboards) is often a not-unpleasant surprise.
Make the most of it! Sort out the house, organise your baby’s clothes and set up a few change stations ready for her arrival home.
9. Signs of Labour in pregnancy – Heartburn relief
As your bump grows, your baby will push your stomach upwards. This forces acid in your stomach into your windpipe, causing heartburn.
‘Luckily, in the weeks running up to your due date, you may notice symptoms get slightly better,’ says midwife Helen Taylor. ‘This is because your baby has dropped, which means he’s moved down into your pelvis ready for birth.’
You may also find that you can breathe more easily because your baby isn’t pushing against your lungs and decreasing their capacity. Read more tips to beat indigestion here.
Signs of Labour in pregnancy: When to go to the hospital
Your doctor/midwives would have told you about what’s to be done if you experience any of these signs of Labour in pregnancy. Visit your doctor or hospital if you notice the following:
- Bright red bleeding or discharge that is not dark brown or pale pink
- Water breaking, especially if it is green or brown or has a foul odour
- Having a headache, changes in vision, tenderness in the upper abdomen, or sudden swelling (symptoms of pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia)
- Less active baby
- Back pain
- Contractions before 37 weeks or any other signs of preterm labour.
Did you find these pieces of information helpful? Then share with your friends and I’ll also appreciate your comment, feedback or share the first sign of labour you experience?
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