You have carried your pregnancy with patience and perseverance, congratulations! You are now counting days or hours to your due date. At this moment, every cramp and cramp can leave you feeling uneasy wondering whether is it time. The one thing you should keep in mind that delivering a baby is a long process but the actual labor is a speedy process. As the day draws closer, your body starts prepares more and more for the real deal. Discussed in this post are the common signs of labor to watch out for.
Increased Braxton Hicks
This slightly light contraction normally starts about 24 weeks to the D-day. Braxton hicks are the tightening of the uterus characterized by hardening and relaxing of the abdomen. Unfortunately, they can be quite uncomfortable although not actually painful. As the expected date of delivers nears, these contractions become more frequent. However, these do not necessarily mean that you should expect labor soon.
Your baby dropping
Among the most common labor signs is your baby moving lower into the pelvis as he prepares to come out. This can be easily noticeable is the baby is positioned under the rib cage. Expect people to keep telling you that your baby has dropped everything they see you.
Nausea or loose stools
If thought nausea was only for the first trimester, you were wrong. It is common for women to experience nausea, as they get closer to labor. You are also likely to experience loose stools as your body muscles start to loosen, as you get closer to labor.
You lose the mucus plug
The mucus near the cervix helps protect the baby from bacteria. As your cervix gradually softens and dilates, you will experience a mucus discharge, which can be clear, or blood tinged. The discharge is likely to come out before going into active labor, a few days before. It is likely that some women will not notice their mucus plug coming out.
Towards the final days of your pregnancy, you should visit your doctor more often to see if the cervix is dilated. If it’s just a few centimeters dilated, do not be excited. In fact, you can be two centimeters dilated for even two weeks without experiencing any contractions. You are not in active labor until you are at least four centimeters dilated.
The water breaks
Nothing on the signs of labor list indicated that you are ready for delivery that the water breaking. Do not expect this to be as dramatic as Hollywood expects us to believe. In fact, it might not happen until the contractions begin or even while on the delivery bed. However, should the water suddenly gush out, that is an indication of coming labor. In case this happens, call your doctor immediately.
Time to head to the hospital
You might feel the need to go to a hospital immediately the contractions kick in. However, your doctor might encourage you to hold on until they are more frequent and intense. If the contractions last for a minute, are at least four minutes apart, and continue for an hour (4-1-1), then it is time to head to the hospital.