You have been waiting for this moment for month and now it might be here! Here are some signs of labor that might suggest your little one is on it’s way.
Pretty much every pregnant woman has wondered how labor will feel, how long it will last, and how to know whether it’s happening or just a false alarm.
Every birth is different, so it’s hard to answer these questions. But knowing the signs of labor and what to look out for will help get your ready to know when it’s almost time to meet your baby, including:
- Strong, frequent contractions
- Bloody show
- Belly and lower back pain
- Water breaking
Other, early signs labor is close (anywhere from a month to mere hours away from active labor) include:
- Baby drops
- Cervix begins to dilate
- Cramps and increased back pain
- Loose-feeling joints
- Weight gain stops
- Fatigue and the nesting instinct
Signs of labor
You have likely gone into labor if you’ve noticed the following signs, but make sure to check in with your midwife, doula or practitioner to be sure:
You’ll know you’re experiencing actual labor contractions by the pain’s frequency, intensity and location. If you’re unsure, here are some questions that will help you determine if you are:
- Are the contractions regular? True labor contractions are spaced at regular intervals and become more frequent as time goes on.
- How long do the contractions last? Real labor contractions last for 30 to 70 seconds each.
- Are the contractions strong? Actual labor contractions get stronger over time and don’t ease up, even when you change positions.
You might notice the loss of your mucus plug, which seals off your baby from the outside world. It might come out in one piece or over time as a mucusy discharge. Sometimes it does not come out until just before delivery.
You may feel like you’re having strong menstrual cramps, stomach upset or lower abdominal pressure. You could also have pain in your lower back that radiates down into the legs. This pain won’t go away if you change positions.
Most woman think there will be a huge gush and that indicates your water broke, like you see in most movies, but sometimes it is just a trickle. This only happens naturally for about 15% of births, but is definitely the final sign of labour for most woman.
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