Signs of Labor

Knowing the signs of labor can be very puzzling. One of the main questions pregnant women have is, what are the major signs of labor? Here are some of the main indications that labor has begun, or is about to begin.

You Feel Your Baby Drop

When your cervix softens, your baby will drop until it reaches your cervix. You will feel the baby drop down into your pelvic area. This can happen a week or hours before you go into labor.

Once the baby’s head is resting on your pelvis, you will feel like you have to urinate more often. One good thing about the baby dropping, is it removes pressure from your diaphragm and allows you to breathe easier. The labor symptom to monitor closely is increased heaviness or pressure in your pelvis.

If you feel this, you should contact your doctor or midwife immediately. This could mean that your baby’s head is close to crowning and you need to get to the hospital.

You Experience Vaginal Discharge

When you are pregnant, you have a thick plug that protects your cervical opening from bacteria entering the uterus. As your body gets ready for labor, your cervix thins out and relaxes and the plug is released.

This is a sign that your cervix is changing by dilating, and moving forward to prepare you for labor.

Your Water Breaks

Every woman doesn’t experience their water break when they are in labor. But if you do, this is another sign that labor is near. When your water breaks, your amniotic sac will leak or gush. If this happens you need to write down when it occurred, how much fluid was released, and what it looked like, and then contact your doctor or midwife.  

They will probably tell you that you need to go to the hospital. After your water breaks, the baby has to be delivered within 24 hours to prevent infection. Because they have no protection from infection inside of your uterus, after the amniotic sac has leaked.

The Main Sign That You Are in Labor is Consistent Contractions…

Contractions help your cervix dilate and open for your baby to be born. Many women say contractions feel like menstrual cramps. When you start to feel steady contractions, this is the biggest sign that you are in labor.

As your labor progresses, your contractions will get stronger and last longer. You might also experience pain in your back that will not go away, even if you adjust your position.

You need to have someone time your contractions from the time they begin, until the time they end and write it down. This will let you see a pattern of how often they are occurring.

When your contractions have reached the point where they are five minutes apart, you need to call your doctor or midwife. They will let you know if you need to go to the hospital.

This is a list of major signs of labor that many women experience. But all pregnancies are not the same, and what can be signs of labor for one person, doesn’t mean it will be the same for others. So if you have a gut feeling, but are not positive that you are in labor, go with your instinct and call your doctor or midwife. They will be able to tell you if you are in labor, and will give you further instructions on what you should do.