Signs of Labor

Signs of LaborIt’s never too early during your pregnancy to learn the signs of labor. Knowing what to expect can relieve some of your anxiety about the birth process. By the way, giving birth is called “labor” because it is arduous and painful work. But once your little angel appears you will forget the pain, as a great love overtakes you.

Now, let’s get you all wise and ready to experience the signs of labor.

What are Braxton Hicks Contractions?

There are true labor pains and false labor contractions called Braxton Hicks. Consider Braxton Hicks contractions your dress rehearsal for the big event. You can identify Braxton Hicks as present as cramping sensations. Real labor pains get stronger and hurts more as time passes.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another pre-labor sign. As your body muscles prepare for childbirth, the uterus and rectum muscles get looser. In consequence, you will have diarrhea.

Just remember to keep hydrated. Replace lost fluids with water.

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Common Signs of Labor

It is common for real signs of labor to manifest between 37-42 weeks after your last menstrual period.

Effacement of your cervix begins in the final month of pregnancy. The cervix thins and stretches itself in preparation of dilation when you deliver your baby. Your medical provider will watch for effacement during the last two months of pregnancy and advise you of progress.

Dilation of the opening of your cervix indicates your body is preparing for labor soon. Your doctor will measure any dilation during the last two months of your pregnancy. You are fully dilated at 10 centimeters. Again, your physician will keep you informed of dilation progress.

When the baby drops down and settles in your pelvis, you’ll find it easier to breathe as pressure has been removed from your diaphragm. But, you will likely experience pressure on your bladder and feel the need to urinate frequently.

Throughout your pregnancy, your cervical opening has been plugged by mucus in order to keep bacteria from getting into your uterus. As your cervix starts relaxing, you will expel the mucus plug. Don’t be afraid, as it may contain a bit of blood. This is one of the most reliable signs of labor.

One might suspect that water breaking suggests labor is minutes away. However, only 1 out of 10 women have that gushing of amniotic fluid. More commonly, it will trickle-out leading you to believe it is urine. Many women leak out urine during the final stages of pregnancy.

In the event your water does break and you don’t experience contractions, go to the hospital anyway. Your risk of infection heightens after the water breaks.

Your doctor will probably induce labor to reduce the risk of infection.

Nesting occurs immediately before you go into labor. You’ll know when this happens because you’ll suddenly feel hyper-energetic. You’ll want to clean house, cook or grocery shop. We’d suggest resisting urges to go here and there because you are about to experience a high-stress event.

Pay attention to all signs of labor. If something is unusual, call your doctor immediately.

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