The onset of labor is marked by the appearance of signs of going into labor, which may occur days or weeks before the big day. Be prepared for everything forehand.
After months of seeing your abdomen grow, of feeling from discomfort to the kicks of the baby, you already want the day of his birth to arrive. You are waiting for the first signs of going into labor.
Although we understand your desperation, you must remain calm. The appearance of the first symptoms does not mean that you are starting labor. There may still be a few days, maybe even weeks.
Signs of going into labor
Below we describe some of the symptoms that you will begin to experience the days before the start of labor. Knowing the signs of going into labor will help you prepare for the big moment.
However, do not forget what we always say: every labor is different, just like every pregnancy. Then evaluate wisely if what we describe here adjusts to what you are living.
1. Your baby descends
If you are in your first pregnancy, you will notice a few weeks before the beginning of the birth what is known as the embedding. The baby has gone down and fits in the pelvis. He is preparing for the birth.
You may notice an increase in weight in the pelvis, but you breathe better, as the pressure your baby exerted on the diaphragm has decreased.
In addition, so-called Braxton Hicks contractions (which are short and painless) increase in frequency and intensity. In some cases, they can be relatively painful and occur at irregular intervals. Therefore, it can be thought that labor began, but labor contractions are not yet.
In addition, the cervix begins to mature by the time of delivery. Some women may experience cramping similar to menstrual cramps.
If you have previously given birth, it is likely that the cervix dilate a centimeter or two before the start of labor. However, if it is your first pregnancy, even being in week 40 and with a centimeter of dilation,there is still no certainty that the start of labor is imminent.
2. You expel the mucous plug
As the cervix begins to thin considerably or expand, you can expel the mucous plug.
It is a small amount of thick mucous tissue that kept the cervix sealed during pregnancy. You can expel it a few hours or a few weeks before delivery.
In addition, it can be lost all at once or as an intense vaginal discharge for several days. This flow can be stained with blood, which turns red, pink or brown. Like the plug, this blood appears a few hours or a few weeks before delivery.
Sexual intercourse or a vaginal touch may encourage the expulsion of the mucous plug and cause a bloody flow, even though it may still be a few days before starting labor.
3. Labor contractions appear
Labor contractions, unlike those of Braxton Hicks, are longer, more intense and more frequent. Its mission is for the cervix to expand.
They are getting stronger, they start to last longer and the frequency increases. The pain starts in the lower back and moves forward.
Labor contractions usually start before you break sources. That’s what happens to most women, but for some it may be the other way around,the source is broken before the contractions begin. Generally, when this happens,labor is quickly triggered.
If after breaking the source, labor contractions do not appear in the later hours, they will most likely have to induce labor. This measure will be necessary since your baby is at risk of infection, not having the protection provided by the amniotic sac.
4. Water breakage
One of the most known and obvious signs of going into labor occurs when the amniotic sac ruptures and the fluid that covers the baby is eliminated by the vagina. It can happen suddenly or be a slow drip.
Once you see that the fluid starts to come out, labor is about to begin. The fluid protects your baby and leave at risk of complications if the delivery does not begin naturally in a short time.
If the fluid is brown or greenish, it indicates the presence of meconium (the first stool of the baby). This can be a sign of fetal distress that you should immediately report to the doctor who treats you.
When should you call your doctor?
In uncomplicated pregnancies, you are likely to be instructed to stay at home until the contractions last for about a minute and occur every five minutes, for at least an hour.
You measure the frequency of contractions from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. Your doctor will ask you the frequency, duration and intensity of the contractions, including whether you can speak during a contraction.
When water ruptures or labor contractions occur before week 37, it is a premature birth. Other common signs are abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, blood or spots.
Another important fact that you should communicate as soon as you notice, is if the baby is less active. Even if you do not perceive it clearly, if you suspect something is not right, communicate it. Your doctor or midwife are ready to answer your questions.
Don’t forget to SHARE the signs of going into labor with your female friends and family members on your social media!