Signs of Labor
Finally, you are nearing the time that you will give birth to your son or daughter. The thought of giving birth is no doubt one of the most exciting, yet nerve-wracking experiences that parents will experience. Here are some signs of labor that indicate you are getting closer to having to grab those bags and head to the hospital.
1. The Baby Descends
A few weeks before the start of labor, your baby will begin to descend (more commonly referred to as “drop”) into the pelvis. This happens because the baby is getting ready to exit. During this period, you can expect to have an increased need for urination.
2. Dilation of Your Cervix
As you near the time of labor, your cervix will be undergoing some preparations too. It will begin to open (also known as dilate) and thin out (or efface) several weeks or days before delivery. During your doctor visits, your cervix will be measured and your cervix dilation as well as effacement will be tracked.
3. Increase in Back Pains and Cramps
Pains affecting your lower back and groin will increase, especially if you are not a first time parent.
4. Joints Feel a Lot Looser
While loose joints are part of the entire pregnancy period, they will become even looser a few weeks or days before labor.
Muscles in the rectum are also preparing for birth, so it would be best for you to expect loose bowel movement. This being said, make sure you stay well-hydrated.
6. Weight Gain Stops or Weight Loss
Weight gain has the tendency to stop at the very last part of pregnancy. There are even some who may lose weight as labor nears.
7. More Serious Case of Fatigue Sets In
Similar to the first trimester, you will feel more tired and fatigued as you near the day of delivery.
8. Changes in Consistency and Color of Vaginal discharge
Just days before you go into labor, the consistency of your vaginal discharge will change and so will its color.
9. Contractions are More Frequent and are Stronger Too
Contractions are some of the earliest signs of active labor. These are like being pinched inside. The reason for this is because the muscles found in the uterus are already tightening as a way to prepare your body for the moment you need to push your baby out.
10. Your Water Breaks
Last, but definitely not the least, is that your water will break. In most cases, this is the final sign that you will go through before the birth of your baby. Increased contractions are almost always followed by this symptom, so if you are already very near your expected date of labor and you go through more contractions; it is highly likely that you will soon see your son/daughter.
Keep these signs of labor in mind and you will be better prepared and hopefully have a more comfortable delivery.