Honestly, and to put it bluntly, there is no way anyone could tell you when you’d be going into labor! However, there are some symptoms that give an indication of a baby coming. During the last trimester of your pregnancy, your doctor will call you weekly or even more frequently, if need be. She will advise you regarding the signs and stages of labor and all emergency situations that may arise. Listen to your doctor carefully and you will understand all the signs of labor as and when they arise.
Though different women face different intensity of pain and different indications of labor but the ones faced by almost all of them are:
Regular and Strong Contractions- When you face contractions, your uterus tightens and then relaxes. This causes pain and you might feel the need to go to the loo over and over again as your baby places pressure on your uterus. If these contractions are regular and the intensity is strong and they last for more than 30 seconds, you must consult your doctor and get your hospital bag packed.
Water Breaking– In some women, water breaks down indicating the time for the baby to arrive. In such a case, you have a discharge from your vagina. The amniotic fluid, in which the baby stays, breaks down and there is sudden gush of water from your vagina. If it is stained with blood or if blood is also oozing out, you need to go to your doctor immediately.
Backache– There is going to be severe backache during contractions and labor.
Bloody Show– This is a condition in which pink color mucus comes out of your vagina, indicating that the baby is all set to come out and your body is also ready for it. It is a sticky liquid which might or might not appear before your labor. If it appears, then it is surely a sign of labor and your baby can be with you within 2 – 3 days.
Stages of Labor
First stage of Labor- In the first stage of labor, your cervix opens up gradually to make way for the baby to come out. This is in a dilated state but the doctor would wait till the second stage of labor till the cervix is fully dilated. In this stage you can move around, walk freely and drink water and other juices to prepare yourself for the coming of second stage.
Second stage of Labor– In this stage, the cervix opens up completely giving way for your child’s birth. It is called a fully dilated state. Your baby needs an opening of say, 10 cm and even if the cervix opens up to say, 3 cm it is called fully dilated. The doctor will encourage you to take deep breaths and push your baby down.
Final stage of Labor– It is after the birth of the baby, your womb contracts and forces the placenta to move out. After facing all this pain and doing a lot of hardwork, you can have the pleasure of enjoying your baby’s company.
Notice the contractions in your body, but do not freak out or stress yourself out. If you are having a normal pregnancy, and contractions do not happen before 37 weeks, there is no need to worry. However, just in case it is before 37 weeks, call your doctor immediately. Always notice the color of the mucus and vaginal discharge, and remember to mention the same to the doctor. Active Labor can be long or short, and in pain many women take epidurals. Stay Calm, Trust in God, and Stay Positive. Labor is doable, for sure!
Holding your baby in your arms is such a heavenly experience and all the pain you go through simply seems worth it.