In movies, babies are often born quickly and dramatically. The mother in labor work can doubles the pain she feels from a single contraction, and suddenly the baby appears. In real life, however, labor often takes time (and the first signs of labor may be undetectable). Below, our experts at BabyShopClub.com will recommend that you know about the frequent signs of labor.
1. Effacement: thinning of the cervix
Before labor, the lower part of the uterus, called the “cervix,” is usually 3.5 cm to 4 cm long. When labor begins, the cervix softens, shortens, and becomes thinner (effacement). You may feel annoying, but irregular and not very painful contractions or you may feel nothing.
Many times, effacement of the cervix is expressed in percentages. At 0 percent effacement, the cervix is at least 2 centimeters (cm) long – it is very thick. Before a vaginal delivery, you must have 100 percent cervical effacement; that is, it must be completely tuned.
2. Dilation: opening of the cervix
Another sign of labor is that the cervix begins to open (dilate). The healthcare provider will measure the dilation in centimeters from zero (no dilation) to 10 (full dilation). At first these changes to the cervix can be very slow. Once you are in active labor, wait for the dilation to be faster.
3. Increased vaginal discharge
During pregnancy, a thick mucus plug blocks the hole in the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. At the end of the third trimester, this plug can go down into the vagina. You may notice increased clear, pink, or slightly bloody vaginal discharge. This can happen several days before labor begins or begins.However, if the bleeding is as heavy as a normal menstrual period, contact your healthcare provider right away. Heavy vaginal bleeding could be a sign of a problem.
4. Nesting: energy blast
You could wake up one morning with a feeling of energy, wanting to fill the freezer with prepared meals, assemble the crib and sort your baby’s clothes according to color. This drive is commonly known as the “nesting instinct.”
Nesting can begin any time during pregnancy, but for some women it is a sign that labor is approaching. Do what you should do, but don’t exhaust yourself. Save energy for later, when you face the most difficult task of labor.
5. Feeling like the baby has snapped lower
Fitting is the term used to describe when the baby’s head is placed in the pelvis. This could cause a change in the shape of the abdomen. This change can happen any time from a few weeks to a few hours before labor begins.
6. Membrane rupture: breaking the source
The amniotic sac is a fluid-filled membrane that cushions the baby in the womb. At the beginning or during labor, the membranes rupture, which is known as “source rupture?”
When you break the fountain, you may feel an irregular or constant drip of small amounts of watery liquid coming out of the vagina, or a more obvious jet of liquid. If you break the source (or if you are not sure if the liquid is amniotic fluid, urine, or something else), check with your healthcare provider or go to the delivery center right away.
They will evaluate you and the baby to determine the next steps. When the amniotic sac is no longer intact, timing is important. The longer it takes to start labor after the source is broken (if it has not already started), the greater the risk of infection for you and the baby. Your healthcare provider can stimulate uterine contractions before labor begins on its own (induction of labor).
7. Contractions: when labor pains begin
During the last months of pregnancy, you may have the occasional, sometimes painful, feeling that the uterus contracts and relaxes, known as “contraction”.
These are called “Braxton-Hicks contractions.” To find out the difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and true labor, consider the following questions:
• Are the contractions regular? Calculate the time of contractions from the beginning of one to the beginning of the next. Look for a regular pattern of contractions that become progressively stronger and more followed. False contractions of labor will remain irregular.
• How long do they last? Calculate the duration of each contraction. True contractions last between 30 and 70 seconds.
• Do contractions stop? True contractions continue, regardless of activity level or position. With fake labor, contractions can stop when you walk, rest, or change position.
8. Expect false alarms
Remember that no one knows for sure what causes labor and each woman’s experience is unique.
Sometimes it is difficult to know when labor begins. Don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you’re confused and don’t know if you’re in labor.
Preterm labor can be especially tricky. If you have any signs of labor before week 37, especially if you also have vaginal spotting, check with your doctor. If you arrive at the hospital with false labor, don’t feel embarrassed or frustrated. Consider it as practice. The true experience is imminent.