How do you know you are in Labour

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 21, 2011

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How do you know you are in labour

Labour signs at the end of pregnancy are different for every women and it is difficult to nail the exact symptoms. You need to understand that a series of processes in your body result in delivery (Childbirth).

Generally, one or more of the following bring about labour –

  • Persisting lower back pain or thigh pain accompanied by cramps that one feels before menstruation.
  • Your water may break in a surge or it may sort of leak.
  • The frequency of your contractions increases and they tend to be stronger and longer in duration.
  • You will find yourself wanting to go to the toilet more frequently than usual. Some women pass urine while others excrete foeces.
  • You may get a brownish mucus discharge with a tinge of blood. If your mucus plug hss passed, labour may be imminent but that is not necessary. The mucus plug may pass a few days before the arrival of labour and can therefore be taken for an alarm indicating the likeliness of labour at any point after the passage.
  • Your cervix will dilate progressively up to 10 cm and its walls would get thinner as well as softer. This process is called effacement.

If you experience any of the above signs, call your doctor immediately. You can call a doctor even if you are conufused about the certainty of labour. This is because they are trained to deal with such situations. Doctors are aware of the fact that every woman's body is reacts differently to labour; for example, some women feel a gush, trickle etc while others feel that they have wet the bed or have a normal natural vaginal discharge. Let your health care provider or OB/GYN know about it immediately without any hesitation.

You should also be aware of the fact that contractions may or may not mean impending labour. In such cases, the cervix does not dilate, the contractions are not regular and they do not occur with increasing intensity. In most circumstances, the pain experienced in the abdomen or back can be easily relieved by giving a warm bath or massage at the back. Some women know when their labour is about to happen while others are blissfully unaware. A prominent sign of approaching labour is when your baby’s head begins to drop into the cervix.


Read more articles on Pregnancy and Labor


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