Signs of labor: How do you know that baby is coming

You prepared the baby’s room, your hospital bag checklist. You probably started your maternity leave and you are waiting impatiently for your baby. But how can you tell that you are in active labor? What are the signs of labor?
You prepared the baby’s room, your hospital bag checklist. You probably started your maternity leave and you are waiting impatiently for your baby. But how can you tell that you are in active labor? What are the signs of labor?
Every woman’s labor is unique. Understanding the typical signs of labor can help you know what to expect as your due date approaches. They can also help you determine if you are experiencing preterm labor.

Here are some signs of labor


Mucus Plug

You may notice stringy mucus or a thick discharge. It’s usually brown and sometimes tinged with blood. It is the mucus plug. (the small amount of thickened mucus that has sealed your cervix). It is a sign that your cervix begins to dilate as you get closer to labor. Labor may still be days away. If you notice this discharge, please contact your care provider. When I had my first baby, I did not pay attention to this sign of labor and I should have!!

Contractions

Contractions are what helps the cervix dilate and open for your baby to be born. The difference between labor contractions and early labor are the strength, frequency and intensity of labor contractions. Labor contractions get stronger, longer and closer together. They become relatively painful and strike as often as every ten to 20 minutes. If your contractions are regular, last more than 30 seconds and continue regardless of your activity level, it is time to contact your health care practitioner to determine if it’s time for you to go to the hospital.

Water breaking

Rapture of membrane or water breaking during pregnancy is the most popular signs of labor. If your water breaks, be ready to go into labor within the next 24 hours. When this happens, the regular contractions normally begin intensify and signal your body that the baby is getting close.

Signs of labor differ from a woman to another and from a pregnancy to another. Understanding these signs will help you welcome your baby with less stress. If you are experiencing any of these signs of labor, consider grabbing your hospital labor bag and head out the door!