There are probably more signs of labour than you might expect, so it is not surprising that many expectant mums ask, especially when it is their first pregnancy “How will I know when it is time?”. While most early labour signs are physical- various types of pain and may be the bloody-show, there are other signs that you would never guess could be a sign that labour is approaching at all.
Take a look at the symptoms experts and our mums have told us were, for them, signs that labour was starting.
When your baby descends or ‘settles’ into the pelvis few weeks before labour begins, it is known as “dropping” or ‘lightening’ and makes for a good predictor of when labour will start.
In first-time mums, dropping usually happens around two-four weeks before labour even though it may vary, in subsequent births, this may not be the case and ‘lightening’ often does not happen until you are truly in labor.
The real significance of dropping is your baby is getting into position to make his exit, ideally with the head down and low, this leaves a bit more breathing room for you since your little one is moving away from your lungs.
2. Bloody Show
Bloody show is thick vaginal discharge that contains mucus and blood from the cervix. Even though some mums may be alarmed when it happens; bloody show at the end of a pregnancy is very normal and is also a sign of early labour.
3. Cramps And Increased Back Pain
After the baby drops and is engaged, your muscles and joints start to stretch and shift in preparation for birth. These changes may bring about discomfort and pain in the back of an expectant mother. As the connective tissues in your uterus and pelvis stretch due to pressure of the baby, lower back pain at the tail end of pregnancy is a cue that you should get ready for labour.
READ ALSO: Nigerian Singer, Emma Nyra Seeks Advice As She Welcomes A Set Of Twin Babies After 36 Hours Of Labour
4. Braxton-Hicks (False Contractions) Intensify
Braxton Hicks otherwise called false contractions set in more frequently and more intensely when labour is near. Many mums will have false contractions for weeks before baby’s arrival, but as labour draws near, you will notice that the contractions are more consistent and painful, not just uncomfortable.
5. Frequent Bladder And Bowel Movement
The urge to pee becomes more frequent at the later period of your pregnancy. The birth hormones could also cause abdominal cramps and frequent bowel movements as nature’s way of preparing you for childbirth, purging your intestines of any wastes.
Many mums mistake the urge to push for a need for bowel movement, so be careful.
6. You Stop Gaining Weight
Weight gain will often stabilise at the very end of pregnancy. Some pregnant women may even lose some weight due to lower levels of amniotic fluid, more bowel movement, and perhaps increased activity. This is normal and will not affect your baby’s birth weight. He’s still gaining, and it is only another sign that labour could be near.
7. Your Water Breaks
The amniotic fluid is contained in a sac that ruptures when labour is imminent. Breaking waters is actually a major sign that labour is near but it happens in only around 15 percent of births or fewer.
So if the movies have got you believing that your water will dramatically break in a fancy restaurant or any other amusing circumstance to herald the birth of your baby, you now know that you can’t count on your water breaking as your only labor sign!
Tags: Labour, signs
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