Are You In Labour Yet? Check These 5 Points.

Are You In Labour Yet? Check These 5 Points

If you’re a second time mother, you might know what labour pain feels like. But as a first timer, how do you know your labour is beginning?

The nine months are almost over and baby is ready to pop out. You must be excited. If it’s your second (or third) baby, then you know what to expect. But if you’re a first time mother you might want to start preparing somewhere between your 37th and 42nd week. 

Make sure your nursery is ready – cradle, toys, warm sheets, baby proofed house and a good stock of Pampers (trust us! you will need them the most!), your hospital bag is packed and all contingencies have been planned for. 

But, how will you know when you’re actually in labour? Will you recognise labour pain when you experience it? What are the many stages of labour? 

While every woman experiences pregnancy and labour in her own way, there are certain symptoms of labour pain that are common to all, even though the degree may vary.

Labour Pain Symptoms

Symptom of Labour #1 – Breaking of water

The amniotic sac (fluid-filled sac which surrounds the baby) bursts and the water either trickles out or, in some cases, gushes out. Relax. When this happens the baby isn’t going to follow right away. You can safely assume you have 24-32 hours, but do call your doctor.

Symptoms of Labour #2 – Contractions

Regular, faster and more closely spaced contractions are a good indicator that you might be going into labour. Contraction begins as lower back pain that seems like period pain. These are still mild contractions. Once they get stronger, longer and closer spaced out, that’s when you can begin timing them. If your contractions are about a minute long and 3-5 minutes apart, there’s a good chance those are labour pains.

Symptoms of Labour #3 – Mucus plug


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As you approach the end of your pregnancy and get closer to labour, your cervix begins to dilate. The thick mucus plug which had sealed your cervix during pregnancy (to prevent infection reaching the baby) becomes loose and discharges from your vagina. It can come out as a whole or in smaller pieces, in which case you might not notice it. There is a pinkish tinge to the mucus (which is similar to the mucus secreted by the nose).

Symptoms of Labour #4 – Lightening

In preparation for the delivery, your baby drops from the uterus and settles deeper into your pelvis. This takes the pressure off your diaphragm and suddenly, after what seems like eternity, you can breathe freely again. However, the pressure shifts to your bladder, which means more bathroom trips.

Symptoms of Labour #5 – Diarrhoea

As you get closer to your delivery, your body starts to make way for the baby. You might notice mild to medium diarrhoea. In case you are worried about emptying your bowels on the delivery table, a visit to the washroom can help. But don’t worry. Midwives are accustomed to it and will clean it up quickly.

If you’re still not sure whether you’re in labour or not, go to the hospital if:

  • You begin bleeding
  • Your waters have broken and instead of being clear or pink, it is green, brown or yellow
  • Baby isn’t moving
  • You feel something is wrong. Trust your instinct.
  • You can’t stop vomiting
  • You have unbearable pain

Also, check out when and how do you get periods after delivery here.

Read useful health tips for women here.

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