There are many Signs & Symptoms that things are progressing, labor is on it’s way, and that you are in fact in TRUE LABOR.
SIGNS that your body is changing and more than likely preparing for the onset of labor are:
More frequent soft bowel movements
Menstrual like cramps and back discomfort
More frequent braxton hicks contractions
Lightening – You feel like you can finally breathe again. Why? The baby has dropped down settling more into your pelvis in preparation for labor.
Nesting – some when say they get a surge of energy to clean and make sure everything is ready for the baby to come
Loss of Mucous Plug /bloody show – a thick amount of mucus that works as a barrier to protect your cervical opening from bacteria entering the uterus. As your cervix starts to thin, this plug can be released. It is looks like thick clear to cloudy mucus or discharge with a ting of blood. It can appear minutes, hours or even days before labor begins. Don’t be nervous if you don’t notice it, not all women do.
Dialation – This is the when your Cervix is beginning to open. (Remember you have to get to 10 centimeters in order to delivery your baby.) Just as with effacement you will not know you are dilating. Your doctor will know through an internal exam. If you are dialating days or even weeks before you due date that’s great. It shows you body is preparing for labor. But this is not neccessary nor do all women dialate pior to going into labor. Many women have no changes up until the day they actually go into labor.
More but Infrequent Contractions – Different from braxton hicks which are painless. The contractions will be more noticeable, may stop you in your tracks, but not be unbearable. They may even be frequent for a period of time but then disappear. Sometimes they can be mistaken for “True Active Labor.” You may have heard many people call it “false Labor.” It can be frustating but they do usually mean things are moving along and changing.
Rupture of Membranes ( your water breaks) – only 1 in 10 women actually experience this. some women actually feel a gush of water or may actually feel a little trickle of water. It is a sign that labor has begun but doesn’t necessarily mean you will deliver your baby in a few hours. You do need to contact your dr right away. This is something they need to now. They might not tell you to go to the hospital immediately but some do.
*Make sure to note what the water looks like.*
– The fluid should be clear. If it is green or brownish it could be meconium, means your baby has pooped in utero. Don’t get too nervous. It just means the dr needs to take precautions and your baby has to be carefully suctioned right away after delivery.
– If you have a fever, it could mean there is some type of infection.
– It is important to not place anything inside the vagina after your water has broken, so avoid: intercourse, baths, and vaginal exams.
– To prevent infection, most doctors like women to deliver their babies within 24 hours after their water breaks.
Depending on your dr, he/she may want you to call as soon as they are consistently 10 minutes apart for an hour or two. Others would rather have you wait until they are 5 minutes part.
True labor contractions:
– get closer together
– get increasing stronger and more painful
– progressively last longer
– tend to be felt from your back all the way around to your stomach or vise versa