5 Signs Of Labor
If you’re in the third trimester of your pregnancy, congratulations! You’re almost there. As you’re nearing your due date, it helps to know what the start of labor feels and looks like so you know you are experiencing labor when it actually starts!
What is Labor?
Labor is the process of contractions and birthing your baby at the end of your pregnancy. During this process, regular uterine contractions bring about cervical dilation that eventually leads to the expulsion of your baby and the placenta.
Here are 5 common signs that point toward the onset of labor:
1. Your contractions are strong and regular
In the days leading up to your labor, you might feel contraction pains every now and then. However, they are usually spaced apart and aren’t very strong. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions. They mimic labor contractions to help get you ready for the real deal! True labor contractions are frequent and regularly spaced apart. They also last longer than false contractions.
2. The pain in your belly or lower back doesn’t go away when you move or change positions
Lower back pain or abdominal pain is very common during pregnancy. However, when this pain is associated with labor, it’s a lot more severe and is not relieved by position changes.
3. Your water breaks
When your water breaks, you might feel a gush of water leaking from down there or it may be a trickle. Typically this is a sign that labor will soon follow, but it is not always the case! If your water breaks and uterine contractions don’t begin, it is important to contact your healthcare provider so you can decide what the best plan of action is for you.
4. You have a bloody (brownish or reddish) mucus discharge
A mucus plug is something sealing off your uterus. Near labor, it escapes, resulting in a bloody or brownish mucoid discharge. It can come out in small increments or one big piece. This can mean that labor will start soon, but it can also just fall out and labor won’t begin for another few weeks. It isn’t a fool-proof sign that labor is near!
5. Your baby drops or moves lower into your pelvis
This happens when your baby is moving further down into your pelvis to make their exit. This may feel like increased pressure in your lower belly. You might feel like you need to waddle more than you have had to in the past. Some women also face increased urination since their baby is directly pressing onto their bladder.
If you begin to experience any of your signs, you should start making arrangements to contact your healthcare provider and to go to your birthing place.