Pregnancy Labour

7 min read

The feeling of becoming a mother makes a woman complete. Pregnancy labour has physical, hormonal, and emotional changes. The mother is oblivious of all the changes that are happening. Pregnancy Labour is one of the difficult times as there are no certain symptoms for the same. It will be a great help to get a better insight into the topic. Find out everything about pregnancy labour. All women undergo some transformation, yet the changes are not the same for all. What one experiences might not be the same for others. Pregnancy for some is a smooth one and challenging and tough for the others. The hormonal changes become abnormal affecting blood sugar and blood pressure levels.



Symptoms Prior To Pregnancy Labour

IT is an unmatchable feeling to be a mother, but it even comes with anxiety and curiousness. Giving birth to yet another life and being responsible for it can give jitters to a mother. The mother is always figuring out for the symptoms of labour.

Since women differ from each another, the experiences differ too. It is a difficult task for a new mother to detect the signs or understand a false alarm for labour. Give below are some of the common symptoms that a woman undergoes.

1. The Downward Push: 

The baby descending to the pelvis is the earliest sign for labour. This is a few weeks before the labour. It even results in an increased urge to go to the washroom. The baby’s head starts pushing down and get into an exit position.

2. The Dilated Cervix:

The cervix tends to dilate and become thinner with time.

3. Feeling Cramps:

The mother starts to feel the cramps accompanied by lower back pain. This is due to the stretching of the joints and the muscles.

4. Your Joints Feel Loose:

Joints loosening up is also a sign of labour. As the hormones keep changing, the ligaments start to loosen up. This continues until delivery happens. It is also a natural way for the pelvis to prepare a path for the baby to arrive.

5. Frequent Diarrhoea:

Muscle relaxation in the rectum and uterus can result in diarrhoea. The best way to tackle this is by keeping oneself hydrated.

6. No More Weight Gain:

No weight gain or losing weight is even a symptom before labour starts. The weight loss can be accountable to diarrhoea or reduced amniotic fluid levels.

7. Urge For Rest:

Nearing the delivery time urges the mother to rest more. Due to diarrhoea as it makes a person weak and exhausted. This is also due to frequent urination and restless sleep.

8. Changes In The Vaginal Discharge:

The vaginal discharge becomes thick before labour. This happens as the mucus plug falls. It changes to a pink colour indicating labour is near.

9. Contractions:

These are the most obvious signs misinterpreted as Braxton Hick’s contractions. The actual contractions are like a menstrual cramp. It also features lower back pain, abdominal pain, as well as stomach upset. This pain further shifts to the legs from the lower abdomen.

10. Water Break:

Breaking of water is the last and the definite signs that state that the women are going into labour.

Is Baby Pushing Down A Sign Of Pregnancy Labour?

Yes, the baby pushing down towards the pelvis is the obvious signs of labour. This is one of the first symptoms and happens a few weeks before the delivery. This period can vary from two to four weeks.

What Are The 4 Stages of Pregnancy Labour?

Labour is the process of childbirth and has four stages. Given below is a brief of all the four stages of labour.

The First Stage Of Pregnancy Labour

The first stage of labour one can experience contractions. These contractions help the cervix to become thin and dilate. The doctors measure the opening of the cervix in centimetres. At the time of dilation and effacement, the cervix widens up to 10 centimetres. The first stage usually lasts for 13 hours or more for the ones with a first baby. The labour duration for a second baby is only 8 hours or even less.

The Second Stage Of Pregnancy Labour

The second stage characterises the dilation of the cervix and the delivery of the baby. The contractions result in the baby to push down, and it comes with immense pressure. This even urges one to pass stool. The mother needs to push with every contraction. With time, the contractions keep becoming stronger. The time span for this stage is dependent on:

  • Position of the baby
  • If it is a first baby or more than one

Contractions also result in irritation. It can even result in moaning or grunting when the contractions are at their extreme.

The Third Stage Of Pregnancy Labour

 Once the baby is delivered uterus starts contracting till it pushes the placenta out. The placenta starts delivering in 15 minutes after the baby is born.

The Fourth Stage Of Pregnancy Labour

After the baby is born and the placenta comes out from the body, the mother feels relaxed. She feels tired and is full of joy. Post the delivery the babies need nursing. Some babies need it soon. Others can need a longer time. Nursing right after delivery helps to contract the uterus. It also helps to decrease the bleeding.

How Long Does Early Pregnancy Labour Last?

The duration of early labour is about 12 hours or even more. The cervix effacement and dilates to about 3cm, the contractions go on for half an hour to 45 seconds. The contractions are irregular and strong as well.

Which Week Is Good For Delivery?

 If the baby comes out early, it can pose issues for the mother and the baby. Considering the health of the mother and the baby, if the pregnancy is healthy, it is ideal to wait for 39 weeks and then wait for the labour to start.

Which Week Is Safe For Delivery?

If the baby is born before 37 weeks, it is a preterm or a premature baby. The babies who are an extreme case of preterm infants are born by 33 weeks as well. The ones who are late preterm babies are born within 37 weeks

Is It Better to Induce Labor Or Wait?

It is best for labour to start by itself, but in certain cases it is a piece of advice by experts to induce the same.

Can You Be In Pregnancy Labour And Not Know It?

Being in labour and not being aware of its symptoms is a very common process. There are chances of a false alarm of being in labour. Symptoms of labour can even be confusing and difficult to differentiate. Some very common, strange and unusual signs that state being in labour are:

  1. When the stomach starts tightening up, it is a sign of having Braxton Hicks contractions. It is a signal of being in labour. The real labour stays, and if it is a false alarm, the contractions fade after a while.
  2. Labour initiates with period-like cramps which keep becoming stronger with time.
  3. The night prior to labour initiates will be more restless for the mother. It is uncomfortable as the legs cannot find a position which offers them comfort.
  4. The vagina starts swelling and looks big as the baby starts descending.
  5. Getting in labour is even characterised by a frequent bowel movement. It is best to empty the bowel before labour starts. Even though mothers still pass the bowel even while they are trying to push. If the bowel is clear baby gets more space to move.
  6. If one notices blood mass in the undergarments, it is a sign of the mucus plug. It is a sign of the body to let one know that they are ready for labour. Though it is not common for all women in labour.
  7. The pain in the lower back or abdomen is also a sign that one is in labour. This pain happens when the baby is getting ready for birthing and is painful as well.
  8. It is common for women to get into a nesting mode.  They ensure proper cleanliness and orderliness.
  9. The ability to not being able to stop the bladder from holding itself is a sign as well.
  10. In case one feels the panties are getting dam, but it is not the regular pee, it is a sign of the water break.
  11. If one feels that the cervix is dilating it is best to seek medical help.
  12. Another sign of being in labour is shivering or trembling. This is due to the fluctuating hormones.

All these signs state informing the midwife and getting the bag ready. It is best to keep oneself fresh and wearing comfortable clothes. One should elevate the feet and rest with the partner or near and dear ones around you.

What Does A Mucus Plug Look Like? How Does It Differ From Discharge?

The vaginal discharge which a woman undergoes at the time of pregnancy is the mucus plug. The mucus plug is thick, jelly-like and fibrous. It differs from a normal vaginal discharge and is brown or red. The mucus plug has glycoproteins that have bigger molecules, making it thick. This even stops the infections or bacteria to enter the uterus. 

Due to fluctuating hormones, vaginal discharge is more than it should be. This makes it difficult to distinguish between a discharge and a mucus plug. Given below are the common differences between the vaginal discharge and mucus plug.

  • Vaginal discharge or leukorrhea is thin, and the mucus plug is long and thick in appearance.
  • Vaginal discharge is clear and milky white, whereas the mucus plug appears red or brown in colour.
  • Vaginal discharge has little or no smell, whereas the mucus plug has a stingy and pungent smell.
  • Streaks of blood on panties state the ending of pregnancy and the start of the labour.

Thus, giving birth to babies differ for all women. The common signs of labour are stronger contractions. The falling of the mucus plug is also a strong sign of one getting into labour. It helps to differentiate the signs of false vs. real labour. It also prepares the mother to go into labour.

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