We are here to help you learn the common signs of labor and what they mean for the baby.
What is the First Sign of Labor?
Typically, the first sign of labor is the relaxing and thinning of your cervix, or effacement. Effacement takes place in the last weeks before delivery and is unobtrusive. Effacement can be specified through cervical changes during vaginal exams.
Effacement is referred to in percentages. The cervix starts at a length of nearly 4 cm (centimeters). As the cervix becomes 50% effaced, the length reduces to half its original thickness, or 2 cm. Your cervix must be 100% effaced before a vaginal delivery.
What happens during Dilation?
When the cervix starts to open or dilate this is a sign of labor. Typically, dilation occurs before labor. Dilation is specified in centimeters from 0 to 10.
Dilation can occur very slowly. It can be days or weeks before labor initiates. Once you're in active labor, Dilation is rapid.
Will I have a discharge during Pregnancy?
A thick mass of mucus blocks the cervical opening to inhibit bacteria from arriving at the uterus lining during pregnancy. As the cervix dilates, this plug may fall out. T
he Mass- A fibrous mucus or intense thick discharge, brown in color typically streaked with blood.
Losing the plug is a sign of labor.
What Can I do for Energy During Pregnancy?
Do you feel more energetic today than most? Some women experience nesting.
Nesting can occur several weeks prior to your due date, but this shot of energy is most obvious just prior to delivery. It is imperative to save your energy for the harder stages of labor to come.
What happens during a Rupture of Membranes?
The amniotic sac is the fluid membrane safeguarding the baby in the uterus. As the sac leaks or breaks before labor you will notice a slow flow of fluid or a evident gush of fluid.
What do you do if your water breaks at home? What if you are unable to determine what the fluid is? Consult your doctor immediately.
If the amniotic sac has become detached, timing is critical. The prolonged wait of labor after the water breaks, heightens the risk of infection. If labor doesn't begin, your doctor may induce labor. Avoid complications that lead to bacteria into your vagina, including having sex.
What are Contractions — The pains of labor?
In the last month or two it is common to experience sporadic painful contractions. This will feel like your uterus is constricting and relaxing. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions.
What is the difference between Braxton Hicks and Real Contractions?
- Are you having regular contractions? Time your contractions. Do you notice a consistent pattern of timing in which the contractions are increasingly stronger and closer together? False labor contractions will remain irregular.
- How long are the contractions? Real contractions last around 30 seconds at first and progress up to 90 seconds. False labor contractions contrast in length.
- Have you tried different positions or an activity to stop the contractions? Real contractions are continuous regardless activity changes or different positions. False labor contractions can be stopped or altered by changing your activity or position, relaxing in a bath or taking a walk.