Signs and symptoms of labor

1. Baby has dropped: You may feel increased pressure on your bladder, meaning more trips to the bathroom. People may comment on your changed appearance even though you might not recognize the changes.

2.Loss of mucus plug. During pregnancy, a thick plug of mucus protects the cervical opening from bacteria entering the uterus. When your cervix begins to thin and relax, this plug is expelled. Some women think the plug will look solid like a cork, but it is actually stringy mucus or discharge. It can be clear, pink or blood tinged and can appear minutes, hours or even days before the onset of labor. Not all women notice this sign.

3.Your water breaks! Only 1 in 10 woman experience a dramatic gush of amniotic fluid. This event usually happens at home, often when you are in bed. Sometimes the amniotic sac breaks or leaks prior to labor and because your uterus is resting directly on top of your bladder, it can cause you to leak urine. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish the urine from amniotic fluid.If it does not seem to be urine, you should contact your health care provider.

4.Thinning of the cervix. In the last month of pregnancy the cervix will begin to stretch and thin. This is an indication that the lower portion of the uterus is getting prepared for delivery because a thin cervix will allow the cervix to dilate more easily.

5. When you begin to experience regular uterine contractions, it is the strongest indication that you are in labor. When this happens, it is a good time to get out your notebook and record the exact time each contraction begins and how long they last. These contractions can feel like menstrual cramps or like a lower backache that comes and goes. During early labor they might be as far apart as 20 to 30 minutes. Over the course of time, your contractions are likely to begin occurring at shorter intervals of perhaps every 10-15 minutes or less. When your contractions are consistently 5 minutes apart, it is time to call your health care provider.

Moms Expertise
About Elena Voznyuk
Current: Anoka, Minnesota
Birth: November 22
On since: Jun 21, 2013
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