As you near the completion of your pregnancy, countdown starts for the arrival of the newborn. Apprehensions follow excitement as the date of delivery approaches especially in case of inexperienced women.
No two deliveries are of the same nature, and hence symptoms of labor vary widely with each woman. Expecting mothers should monitor the symptoms of labor carefully under the experienced guidance of obstetricians or midwives to ensure safe and smooth delivery. Labor, generally is smooth and hassle free if the basic medical parameters of expecting mothers remain normal. Position of the placenta and baby in the womb at the last moment can play a significant role in inducing a hassle free labor.
Get Yourself Prepared For Labor:
You must have enjoyed the entire term of pregnancy amidst various physical and emotional adjustments, and the time has finally arrived to prepare yourself for labor as per the due date. Get yourself acquainted with different stages of labor attending any special class or talking to your obstetrician. Keep your midwife informed about your current status that you can reach out for her in time.
Early Symptoms Of Labor:
Abdominal contractions of varied intensities are the preliminary symptoms of labor. You may experience a constant pain in the lower abdomen or back of mild to moderate intensities at the onset of labor followed by a mucous discharge with a tinge of blood. Initially, these contractions are felt at definite time intervals signaling the arrival of your delivery time.
If you can track mild symptoms of labor or the early labor phase, do not panic or rush to the hospital. Keep your family members and the midwife informed and relax at home. Drink plenty of water and eat light meals. Observe the abdominal contractions carefully.
Gradually, the frequency of abdominal contractions increase with the increase in pain as your cervix gets dilated from about 3cm. to 7cm. The labor can last for few hours till the cervix is dilated to about 10cm enough for the smooth delivery of the baby. Women have to go through an adventurous and emotional phase at this time and they deserve full support from the partner and family.
Lower Back Pain As A Symptom Of Labor:
Lower back pain is common during the entire phase of pregnancy, but if the pain intensifies days before the due date, it can signal a labor. Do not neglect this as ordinary back pain, but carefully monitor the intensity. If you feel like premenstrual cramps, contact your midwife immediately for a proper assessment.
Breaking Of Water From The Amniotic Sac:
This is another important symptom of impending labor. Many women experience water breaking at the onset of labor. Water may splash out or trickle down slowly. Whatever may be the condition; you should rush to the hospital or call a midwife for your assistance. Many women go to labor without breaking of water and sometimes midwives need to break the water to induce labor.
Discharge Of The Mucous Plug From The Vagina:
The mucous plug located near the cervix protects the growing fetus from infection throughout the entire term. At the onset of labor, this mucous plug comes out along with mild tinges of blood, red or brownish in color. This clearly signals that you are in labor or may be a couple of days ahead of the due date.
Other Symptoms Of Impending Labor:
“Lightening” is another significant symptom of labor when the head of your baby positions itself rightly into the pelvis. The vaginal discharge becomes thicker, and you will experience frequent bouts of contractions (Braxton Hicks contraction) few days before the due date.