Understanding The Signs That You Are In Labor!
Each pregnancy is unique, even for the same mother one pregnancy can differ from the other. When in the late third trimester of the pregnancy the mother is eagerly waiting for signs of labor, but like the pregnancy, the labor signs are also different for each mother. Labor is triggered when the fetus produces certain hormones. Based upon the changes in these hormones, the mother faces labor signs and symptoms. Though the signs of labor are different for each pregnancy, we have compiled a list of some common signs of labor below.
10 Signs That You Are In Labor
The Baby Drops
The baby starts settling deeper into the pelvis thus relieving the pressure on the diaphragm. This in turn makes the mother feel like she can breathe more easily. However, the pressure on the bladder will increase when the baby drops and this is one of the important signs that the mother has entered the process of labor.
Burst of Energy
Though it’s a rare chance that the mother’s body has rested well in pregnancy, but when the body is moving towards labor, the mother will feel a sudden surge of energy. She feels that she is energetic enough to complete every pending task. This sudden bout of energy is called nesting and though she will feel extremely energized, she should remember that this is a sign of labor and that labor is just around the corner and preserve the energy for that too.
Thinning of The Cervix
When the body is preparing for labor, the cervix starts to thin out causing pseudo-contractions. These contractions are popularly known as Braxton Hicks contractions. As the body is reaching towards labor, these contractions intensify and become more frequent. Some women have menstrual like cramps during this time. It is an indication that the body is preparing for delivery, as a thinner cervix dilates easily and is a sure shot sign of labor.
Dilation of The Cervix
The opening of the cervix is referred to as the dilation of the cervix. It is measured by the healthcare providers through a manual internal exam of the vagina. Dilation of cervix is measured in centimeters and is a clear sign of labor in most cases, though the second time mothers might experience the dilation of a centimeter during the starting of the ninth month when there is still time to go until the due date. Optimally the cervix should be dilated 10 cm before giving birth. Progressive cervical dilatation is a sign that the mother is in labor.
Bloody Vaginal Discharge
The mucus plug, which is a small amount of thickened mucus and which seals the cervical canal during the 9 months of the pregnancy passes out through the vagina as a bloody discharge. This is a good indication that labor is imminent. The mucus plug can come out in pieces of blood tinged mucus, or in one whole wad of slimy goo. This thickened, pinkish discharge is also called Bloody Show and is an important sign that the labor has commenced.
Rupture of membranes holding the amniotic fluid within the cervix is called breaking of water. When the water breaks, the mother will feel trickling or gushing of amniotic liquid through her vagina. Some women also notice a ‘popping’ sensation as their waters break. Since the uterus is right above the bladder, this may cause the mother to leak urine also. This leaking of the amniotic fluid may happen for days, but it is a clear sign of the mother going into labor. Rupture of membranes is one of the important signs that you are in labor.
One of the most common signs that the labor has started is when the mother is facing genuine contractions. True labor involves regular, rhythmic, intense contractions that become closer than 5 minutes apart for more than an hour or two. These contractions come at regular time intervals and are uncomfortable and very painful. Unlike Braxton-Hicks contractions, labor contractions grow stronger, longer, and more frequent as they cause the cervix to dilate and are a sign that the mother is in labor.
Joints Feel Looser
The ligaments tend to feel loose as you are entering into labor. It is just another way of nature to prepare the body for cervix dilation, but it may bring about a range of aches and pains. Loosening of the joints makes the mother feel more flexible too and is a sign of labor.
Diarrhea or Nausea
Often the sign of early labor, diarrhea is the body’s way of clearing out the bowels to makes place for the baby’s descent. Some mothers might experience soft stools and some might face a more severe case of diarrhea, but it is important for the mothers to keep themselves hydrated during such a case of diarrhea.
Low Back Pain & Cramping
Another sign of early labor might cause the mother to experience pressure or cramping of the pelvic and rectal areas. There can also be pain and cramping in the lower back, which is another sign that labor is starting.