Signs of labor – Know when it’s time to go to the hospital

Signs of labor- Among pregnant women it is difficult to find a woman who would not be interested in the questions: “What are the harbingers of childbirth” and “How to recognize contractions before childbirth?”  When there are only a few days left before the first meeting with the baby, it is extremely important that the expectant mother does not worry and be sure that she will not miss the beginning of an important event!

Signs of the onset of labor

How long can labor start?

Each woman finds out the estimated date of birth (PDD) by being observed in the antenatal clinic. And the closer the long-awaited event, the more she “listens” to herself, wondering “is it time to get ready for the hospital?” On average, with a favorable course of pregnancy, you should closely monitor changes in your condition (for precursors of childbirth) no earlier than 2 weeks before the PDD. It was during this period that the female body completes preparations for the expulsion of the fetus through the birth canal. In a pregnant woman, the hormonal background changes: the amount of estrogen (the hormone of childbirth) increases, and progesterone, which until now was responsible for the safety of the fetus in the uterine cavity, decreases.

4 Main signs of labor (an impending birth)

  1. Breathing relief. It is caused by the fact that the uterus descends and stops pressing on the diaphragm. After that, it becomes much easier for the pregnant woman to breathe and move.

2. Change in the amount of discharge. They either become thinner or brown in color. In the first case, you need to monitor how much the laundry gets wet so as not to miss the leakage of amniotic fluid. You should not be afraid of brown discharge: such a color change indicates that the cervix is ​​ready for childbirth.

3. Weight loss. Before giving birth, a woman can lose from 500 g to 2 kg. This is how the body gets rid of excess fluid.

4. Abundant bowel movement. Nature has laid the mechanism for maximum cleansing of a woman before childbirth.

What sign of impending labor should you pay the most attention to?

Watch the nature of the discharge. If the expectant mother sees a scarlet discharge and in a sufficiently large amount, she should quickly collect her things and come to the hospital for an appointment with the doctor. Experts will figure it out: it’s time to give birth or we are talking about a false alarm.

  • decreased appetite ;
  • increased energy (“nest syndrome”, in which a woman is very active in everyday life – puts things in order, prepares a nursery, etc.);
  • a decrease in fetal movements (the baby becomes cramped, and he rarely pleases the mother with movements).

Can the expectant mother be mistaken in assessing the signs of an imminent birth?

Of course, all signs are very subjective.  One woman can feel them, and the other cannot. And this is completely normal, because every pregnancy is unique. Even for a woman expecting a second child, pregnancy will proceed differently (compared to the first), because all babies are different. Therefore, even one of the listed signs is a reason to consult a doctor.
For a woman who has no more than 14 days before giving birth, it is important not to worry. The expectant mother should be patient: not to rush things, but also not to ignore the unusual changes taking place in the body. But the necessary documents and a package with things for the maternity hospital must be collected in advance.

How to distinguish real fights from training ones?

Also, the fact that labor will begin soon is evidenced by contractions. It is important to distinguish real from training (a woman is not always able to do this on her own).  Training contractions can appear from week 37. They are less painful and less regular. Real contractions are characterized by an equal interval between their occurrence. And the closer the birth, the shorter the intervals between contractions become.

How does the second labor start?

The presence or absence of any of the listed signs depends on how many times a woman is pregnant. The signs of childbirth in multiparous and in the first pregnancy may differ. In primiparous, not all signs may be observed, but only one or two. And in those who have given birth, for example, relief of breathing most often does not occur almost until the day of childbirth, because the prolapse of the uterus occurs immediately in front of them.

How to understand that labor has begun?

The main signs of the onset of labor include the discharge of amniotic fluid and regular contractions. But do not forget that everything is individual! Doctors obstetricians-gynecologists do not get tired of repeating: the first signs of childbirth are not a dogma, much depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.  For example, a classic of the genre (if pregnancy is uncomplicated) is the order in which a woman first has contractions, and only then (before the onset of attempts) amniotic fluid leaves. However, in practice, the opposite picture is often observed, and this is not considered a pathology.

Real contractions usually start at a frequency of 15-20 minutes. If the interval between them is 10 minutes or less, you need to go to the hospital. Of course, we are talking about those cases when the birth is going according to plan. If you notice any other alarming signals, for example, abdominal pain, bleeding, increased pressure, flies in front of the eyes, etc., you must come to the hospital for a consultation with a doctor.

Dr. Ashwani Kumar is highly skilled and experienced in treating major and minor general medicine diseases.