To avoid ending up delivering alone or in the car on the way to the hospital, you better be well aware of the early signs of labor.
After more than 5 hours of labour contractions, Lauren delivered her child home alone, while her husband was trying to reach for help. “As a first-time mom, I didn’t understand at the time that my water broke in the bathtub and my body was naturally pushing” – Lauren Neerman.
When Does Labor Start?
Typically, labor occurs between the 37th and 42nd weeks, whereas anytime before the 37th (some doctors even say 38th) week is considered preterm labor. You may also go through induced labor (starting labor artificially), which is usually 12 days after your predicted expected date of delivery, whether you passed the 42 weeks or not. It was observed that it mostly starts at night, too. Doctors say it is melatonin’s effect!
Early Signs of Labour Approaching
To avoid ending up delivering alone or in the car on the way to the hospital, you better be well aware of the early signs of labour.
- Signs of labour at 37 weeks
- Signs labor is 24-48 hours away
- labor pains symptoms when to go to hospital
37 weeks is approximately 8 months and half in pregnancy, that makes you an expert! CONGRATS! Now what about the symptoms of labour pain in 9th month? What about the early signs of labour approaching?
Should I worry if that is not the case?
No, madam, it is said that mothers expecting baby boys may eat more than those expecting baby girls, which may restrain the baby’s gymnastics a bit, so he may just roll and stretch luxuriously instead!
Also called false labour pain, Braxton Hicks are considered one of the non-painful early signs of labour approaching! Those are some irregular uterine contractions, which feel like mild period cramps or tightening of the uterus. The good news is that you can get rid of them by lying down or drinking some water!
This is one of the early signs of labour approaching that you may have been experiencing already for some time, but now you will notice it is getting harsher and more frequent.
Know why? The baby is moving in there and your body is trying to accommodate it, so your muscles and joints are “adjusting”.
Your uterus and cervix are basically 2 parts of one balloon-like structure. Whenyour uterus contracts, your cervix dilates a little. It also softens and thins out more and more with time.
With the contractions and dilatations, you may see some pink, brown, red spots in your underwear. They may be due to the tiny blood vessels rupturing with all the pressure, but if they are more than what feels normal, contact your obstetrician, please.
The mucus plug was there closing your cervix to protect your dear baby from infections. With the cervical dilatations, the plug is likely to fall. Don’t worry about your baby though, he is coming out soon to fight infections himself!
However, this is among the highly variable symptoms before labour begins, may be 1-2 weeks to 1 day before labour.
Tip: It looks like uncooked egg white.
This is one of the early signs of labour approaching that are a gut-feeling (pun intended! ;). Your baby is getting even more eager to meet you, so he descended in the birth canal.
This decreases the pressure on your diaphragm, so you may notice you can breathe more easily, and that the heartburn is kind of relieved, too. (If you had it previously)
Yet, it increases the pressure in your pelvis. What does that mean, almost-mama?!
Remember the first trimester? Yup, it’s the same, maybe even more, due to the increased pressure on your bladder.
But now, the mother may also experience diarrhea as the pressure is high on the rectum, too. And your body is making room for the soon arriving baby!
Pay attention, among the common signs of labour approaching first mom is called “Nesting effect”.
It is called nesting because, like birds, she feels like she needs to prepare a “nest” for our precious guest. Mothers from different species experience similar early signs of labour approaching! You feel a burst of energy that you need to arrange everything. Suddenly the baby’s room, clothes and even the bathrooms seem like they are not enough to welcome the new family member. Or, it could be fatigue that is significantly more than what you felt before.
I know, dear soo-to-be-mother, The early signs of labour approaching are really tricky!
You may peacefully sleep for sufficient hours, or can not sleep properly. Anyways, you will notice a change in your sleep patterns.
You may experience some sudden shoots of pain. Sometimes it is due to tightening in the vagina itself, other times it may be due to cervical contractions.
Among the good first signs of labor approaching is that you will stop gaining weight, or in some cases, lose weight. Don’t worry about your baby’s development, it is mostly fluid weight.
Signs Labor is 24-48 Hours Away
24-48 hours prior to labor, most of the aforementioned symptoms will intensify and become more obvious or more annoying to alarm you that your big day is coming!
For example, the cervix further dilates, the back pains get harsher, and so on. Listen to your body’s early signs of labour approaching, they are an alarm!
However, there are some exceptions:
Not a british exaggeration, but you may see some pink watery vaginal discharge. Maybe you have experienced thick brown or red vaginal discharge in the previous weeks, but this one is probably lighter in colour and consistency.
You may be nervous, but the baby may relax as you get closer to labour. Surprisingly, you both are experiencing very different early signs of labour approaching! Haha. Not only because he is finally meeting his mother, but also he doesn’t really have much space to move. He is getting bigger! Labor pains symptoms when to go to hospital. If any of the following early signs of labour approaching occurred, you must reach the hospital as soon as possible. Those are basically signs that labor has started!
However, it is not as dramatic as movies portray it, even some mothers may miss it especially if it is their first time with all the pressure and pain. One of the disappointing early signs of labour approaching thanks to the movies’ high expectations!
Among the must-to-know early signs of labour approaching is the 4-1-1 rule. Some say 3-1-1, others say 5-1-1. Anyways, this is when contractions hit every 4 minutes, each lasting for a whole minute and this state continues for a whole hour.
If your cervix reaches 10 cm wide, you are already in stage 1 of labour.
Dear almost-official-mama, if you are experiencing weight, sleep patterns, vaginal discharge, contraction rhythms changes or changes in the fetal activity, contact your obstetrician. You may need an appointment to check up on you and your baby and make any new decisions, like give birth for example!
Please pay close attention to the early signs of labour approaching, to ensure the safest and most comfortable delivery for you and your new family member!