Signs of Going into Labor

Bhakti Satalkar Feb 9, 2019
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While breaking of the water is one of the most obvious signs of going into labor, there are also some not-so-obvious ones. Let us help you understand them better so that you are thoroughly prepared.
As the ninth month has set in, your curiosity has reached its peak and you want to have a look at your baby. However, you also do not know when the baby will make its grand arrival and how you will understand the language it is using to communicate with you.
Have you understood the language we are talking about? It simply means the signs of going into labor. Many pregnant women experience one or many of the given signs. Use them just as a clue, as these are not imminent indicators of childbirth.

Lightening

It is the movement of the baby towards the lower pelvic area or better expressed as "dropping of the baby in the pelvis". In lightening, the baby will rotate itself and face downwards. Due to the movement of the baby to pelvic region, the mother will often have to visit the washroom as the new position of the baby will exert more pressure on the bladder.
Some women also experience constipation. Lightening enables the mother to breathe well. However, some women experience lower back pain and pelvic discomfort due to the baby moving down.
If the mother is a first time mother, this can happen about a week before she actually goes into labor. If this is going to be the second or subsequent baby then this can happen approximately a day or two before the mother goes into labor.

Passing of Mucus Plug

It is nature's way of taking care of the baby. A plug of mucus is formed at the neck of the cervix. This plug prevents the bacteria from harming the baby. Passing of the mucus plug is also called 'bloody show', as this mucus discharge looks pinkish-red in color.
The woman can either go into labor after two or three weeks after the passing of mucus, or even two or three days. However, it is one of the important signs of approaching labor.

Nesting Instinct

If you suddenly have a gush of energy and you start to make up your baby's room, it signals the end of the pregnancy period. This sudden energy is known as the nesting instinct. It is the way your body is preparing for childbirth and could be a sign of going into labor.

Water Break

It is the rupturing of the membrane, where the amniotic sac, which cushions the baby is broken thus, leaking amniotic fluid. This means that the woman can go into labor any time soon.
However, if the sac breaks before the completion of 36 weeks, you should go and see your obstetrician and gynecologist immediately to prevent any infections affecting you or your baby.
The fluid should be clear, if the color of the fluid is green or brownish in color, it means it is an emergency. You should reach the hospital as the baby is in distress.

Labor Contraction

Braxton Hicks are false labor contractions or a practice run to the actual labor marathon. These contractions prepare your body for the actual childbirth. The Braxton Hicks are usually painless initially, but nearing childbirth, these contractions become painful.
When the actual contractions start, the abdomen becomes hard. In between each contraction the uterus relaxes and the abdomen becomes soft. Contractions differ from women to women and from one childbirth to another.
However, labor contractions mean pressure on the pelvis area resulting in lower back pain and pain in the abdomen. These contractions can also be called strong menstrual cramps.

Facts about True Labor

Once the true labor contractions start, they come at regular intervals. After some time, the time gap between two contractions reduces. These contractions, which are displayed during the early signs of labor can last anywhere between 30-70 seconds.
The Braxton Hicks stop if you change positions. However, this is not the case with true labor contractions. These contractions start in the lower back and move to the abdomen.
If you identify these signs as those that match your current situation, do not panic. Take the essential precautions and before you ask your partner to drive you to the hospital, just spare a second as we want to wish you all the best!
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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