I have heard stories from my friends and family where they went to hospitals thinking it was labour but ended up coming back being told it was a false alarm. Well, our body starts preparing itself for birth at times even a month before. My sister went to the doctor after she started having contraction and delivered her baby after two days. One of my aunts went to hospital similarly thinking the time had come and a severe case of indigestion turned up.
One of my cousins had a killing lower back pain and refused going to the doctor thinking it would go away. But when she actually did she found out she was in labour for a number of hours by then.
Nevertheless new mommies would still be looking for some early signs of labor. So here are a few.
A lightening feeling
This feeling comes with the baby moving away from the mother’s ribcage and dropping into the pelvis. This allows the mother to draw deep breath and eat more than she did prior to this lightening feeling. This brings with it some discomfort as the mother will need to urinate more frequently. She might as well feel as if baby is about to fall down due to pressure on bladder and rectum.
In first time mothers, dropping usually happens two to three weeks before official labor starts; however in second and third time mommies it may take time
Braxton hicks contractions
These are the contractions which sometimes start as early as pregnancy but can be detected only after mid pregnancy. They are not painful or frequent due to which they are also termed as false labour.
Only after they become frequent or painful or the mother is past 37 weeks pregnant, that she needs medical help.
Change in cervix
Cervix starts to change with the onset of labour. It may dilate, become soft or thin out making the passage wider for the baby to pass through easily. A prenatal visit to your doctor can determine how dilated you are by a vaginal exam.
As you progress towards labour the cervix dilates and with it you might encounter a bloody show. No, it’s not as bloody as it sounds. It is merely a mucous plug that had sealed your cervix for nine all these months of pregnancy. It might come out as a liquid over some days in a week or like a blob stained with blood.
So gear up now. With more painful contractions and more frequent one; know that it’s time to welcome your bundle of joy. These are the contractions which will further dilate your cervix paving the way for the baby to come out smoothly.
The rupturing of baby bag is what we call water break. Some women experience contractions before the water break however in some cases the official contractions start after baby bag ruptures.
In some cases where water breaks and contractions do not start, that is when you need induction.