As a pregnant woman, you have been happily anticipating the birth of your baby and wondering what labour will feel or look like and how to know if it is real labour or false Labour. Truth is labour differs from person to person and from child to child but below are 5 common things that signifies that you are in labour.
1. Baby Drop
This is one of the physical things that indicates the start of the delivery process. It is characterised by the baby's head moving in to the pelvis in readiness to come out. It happens about two weeks before delivery in first time mums and happens much later in veteran mums usually when they are about to deliver. You will know your baby has dropped when you feel a more frequent need to urinate, your discharge changes to a yolk like texture and you feel your baby sitting on your lower belly.
Another sign to know that your baby is close is when your cervix begins to thin out (efface) and open up (dilate) to accommodate the passage of the baby's head in to the vagina. If the cervix has not started openings, labour is still far from you. You can not check this yourself but from your 36th week, your doctor would have started checking to see if you have started dilating and how you are progressing.
3. Mucous Plug
The mucous Plug is the plug sealing off the uterus outside world. When your baby is about to start coming, you lose your mucous plug. It can come out in one large piece (it looks similar to the mucus in the nose) or in tiny bits and pieces, though you may not notice it at all, but if you do, there is no cause for alarm, it is just your baby excited to come meet you.
4. Bloody Show
In the last few days or hours for veteran mums before labor, you'll likely see increased and/or thickened vaginal discharge. This thickened, bloodish discharge is called bloody show and is a good indication that labor is imminent. But without contractions or dilation of 3 to 4 centimeters, labor could still be a few days away.
5. Breaking Water
While movies would have you think you’ll learn you’re in labor only when your water breaks, but the reality is you would have experienced most of these other symptoms before it does as it is one of the final signs of labour even though not everybody gets to experience it, some get their's broken at the hospital. Your water has broken when you experience a popping sensation followed by a gush or trickle, an unusual amount of dampness in your underwear that does not smell like urine, uncontrollable leakage of small or large amount of fluid from your vagina that does not smell like urine. If you experience any of these symptoms with or without contractions, go to the hospital within 24 hours, your baby is almost here.
PS- I can remember having a conversation with my bff a day before I had my second child, telling her I felt like I weeed on myself and she was laughing at me telling me to go to the hospital straight, that it means baby is almost here and can get infected if she is not out within 24hours. Don't be like me, be prepared, be educated.
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