Your baby’s birth !!! It is THE event you’ve been happily anticipating (and probably also secretly dreading) for the last 9 months. Many an expectant mom has wondered (and worried) about the signs of labour. When will it happen? How will it feel? How long will it take? Will I have a vaginal delivery or a C section? And most commonly – How will I know I am going into labour?
Since every birth is different, it’s hard to predict the answers to all these questions, but for the last one, we can help. There are some signs to watch for and they’ll tell you that Baby’s on the way!!
- Lightening: Your baby “drops”.
A few weeks before labour begins , your baby will start to descend into your pelvis (this is more common for first time moms). Your baby is getting into position to make its exit. You may be taking very frequent bathroom breaks, because baby’s head is pushing down on your bladder too.
- You feel more cramps and increased back pain.
You may feel some crampiness and pain in your groin and lower back as labour nears. Your muscles and joints are stretching and shifting in preparation for birth. Throughout pregnancy, your ligaments soften and loosen, it’s natures’s way of opening up your pelvis for your baby to make his or her way into the world.
- Your vaginal discharge changes colour and consistency.
In the last days before labour you may notice an increased and/ or thickened vaginal discharge with faint streaks of blood. This brownish or pinkish discharge is also called “show” and is an indication that labour is imminent.
- You feel stronger, more frequent contractions.
How can you tell the difference between true and false labour contractions?
Prelabour or false labour contractions are called Braxton Hick’s contractions. These are short, painless, irregular tightening sensations.
True contractions get stronger instead of easing up. They get more frequent (every 5- 10 minutes) and more painful and longer (lasting for more than 30 seconds ) and may fall into a regular pattern.
- Your water breaks .
Your membranes may rupture with a gush or trickle of amniotic fluid. If the colour is greenish, your baby may have passed stools, which is a sign of distress and you need to go to the hospital immediately.
So with this information, if you think you are going into labour, it’s time to check with your obstetrician and confirm whether you need to be admitted for delivery or not.