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We all know the famous movie scenes where a woman goes into labor while she’s out shopping or in the supermarket; she starts screaming after her water breaks and starts getting contractions.
While this scenario is very possible, you can start getting symptoms of labor as early as two weeks before actually giving birth.
As your pregnancy nears its end, every mother becomes increasingly concerned about going into labor and giving birth. While it differs from person to person, there are main signs and symptoms that you are going into labor.
During your second and third trimesters, you may experience false contractions also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are basically contractions preparing you for the real labor process. They usually don’t come in a pattern like labor contractions and usually go away after you stand up or change your position.
This article will guide you through the signs and symptoms that you are going into labor.
Main signs and symptoms of labor:
- Mucus plug
- Water breaking
- Dilating cervix
Lightening occurs when your baby drops down its position closer to your pelvis. This can occur weeks or days before actually giving birth.
The mucus plug which protects the cervix from bacteria during your pregnancy gets released after your cervix begins relaxing. It is usually pinkish in color and is one of the main signs of labor.
Not all women’s water breaks during labor. Your water breaking means you are in the final stages of labor. Contractions start after your water breaks. If you do not start getting contractions, your doctor will probably start inducing techniques because your baby may be at risk of infection if there is not enough water.
Regular contractions which will feel like extremely strong menstrual cramps is a major sign that you are going into labor. These contractions don’t go away after you change your position or stand up and are extremely strong and intense. Your doctor will usually time the difference between each contraction to see how far along you are.
Effacement and dilating cervix
Effacement is the thinning out of the cervix and dilating is the enlargement. Your cervix must be dilated 10 cm to be able to give birth naturally by pushing.
Further reading: Ultimate Hospital Packing Checklist For Labor Day