What are some of the early signs of labor? Are you ready? After 9 months it all comes down to this. Most women are both excited and a little nervous at the same time. During pregnancy, the greatest fear of a woman who has never conceived a child before is labor pain. Many pregnant women are afraid that they will miss the signs of labor, making them unprepared for their child’s delivery. The amazing thing about pregnancy and the female body is that no pregnant woman can miss the early signs of labor because her body will provide her with clues to tell her that the start of labor is approaching.
For some women, labor only lasts a few hours, while others experience more than a day of labor. Although this part of pregnancy is the most dreaded time, many women say that it is as rewarding as it is a scary experience.
Majority of women experience the early signs of labor weeks before the actual delivery. These signs will help the mother to prepare her body for the approaching delivery. If this is your first pregnancy, expect the early signs of labor to occur weeks before the estimated schedule of your delivery. Otherwise, you can expect these signs to be present a few hours before delivery.
Is It Time For Labor?
During pregnancy, so many changes in a woman’s body occur. Once a woman becomes pregnant, her entire body gradually changes to prepare her for delivering the baby into the world.
A pregnant woman’s body guides her through this natural process from the start to finish by signaling specific clues. The early signs of labor are one of those clues. Identifying each of these early signs can help pregnant women become emotionally and physically prepared in giving birth to her new baby.
How To Identify Each Sign
As your pregnancy comes to an end, the baby’s head usually begin to slide down lower into your pelvis as your uterus becomes soft. This process is known as engagement or dropping, which allows the mother to breathe more easily. Some women experience the dropping of their babies weeks before the baby is born. When this is the case, mothers can expect to conceive any time soon.
One of the most obvious signs of labor is known as pelvic pressure. This condition occurs after dropping and often gives mothers discomfort. This occurs because you baby is giving extra pressure on your bladder and bowel. Pelvic pressure can cause swelling of legs, sharp twinges, aching pubic bones and backaches.
Other early signs of pregnancy labor include vaginal discharge, nesting instinct (an emotional condition wherein the mother prepares for the baby’s arrival by cleaning every thing in the house), Braxton Hicks contractions (stretching of the lower part of the uterus), shivering, trembling and diarrhea.
The last three signs of labor are probably the most important part of pregnancy. These include bloody show, rupture of membranes (water breaking) and regular contractions, which are all signs that labor will happen in a few minutes or hours. These three signs of labor work by helping the mother and baby to work together during the delivery.
Bloody show, which is also known as mucus plug, work as the cervix begins to dilate while the mucus plug begins to dislodge. It is called “bloody show” because a brownish red liquid usually appears. Although this sign of labor usually suggest that labor is near, other pregnancy reports that the “show” occur weeks before the labor starts.
Rapture of membrane or water breaking during [tag-cat]pregnancy[/tag-cat] is the most popular sign of labor. If your water breaks, be ready to go into labor within the next 24 hours. When this happens, the regular contractions normally begin, intensify and signal your body that the baby is getting close.
The last sign of labor is regular contractions. These contractions work by pushing the baby slowly through the lower uterus and thus, your baby is almost within your reach. Pregnancy contractions, along with other early signs of labor, allow doctors, mothers and the baby to work together for a smooth delivery.
Don't forget to check out all our articles on Childbirth and Labor