It’s your ninth month and you have to keep a lot of things in mind while getting ready for that big day- the arrival of your tiny cuddly bundle. More often than not, you’d be worried about going into labor and will also be apprehensive about it, wondering how will your know about the signs of labor. According to doctors, your body starts to prepare itself for labor about a month before the onset of labor. Outwardly you might be unaware of the changes going on but can notice it when you near delivery.

Some common signs of labor approaching are-

The Baby “Drops”-

‘Baby drop’ or ‘lightening’ is experienced few weeks prior the onset of labor. A sense of heaviness is noted by the first time mothers and difficulty in breathing is also a common complaint due to pressure below rib cage.

Braxton Hicks Contractions-

Sometimes intense Braxton Hicks contractions or false labor pains are also felt prior to onset of labor. During this stage cervix becomes soft or ripe and true labor sets in. These contractions manifests as menstrual like cramping feeling.

Signs-of-Labor

Cervix Dilation

Cervical Changes-

As you near your final month of gestation, your cervix begins to change. From relatively hard constitution, the cervix becomes soft like lips. The cervix becomes thin and soft, sometimes it becomes a little open too.

The ladies who have given birth before have a more dilated cervix than those who are giving birth for the first time.

The cervical changes are noticed by your caregiver few days prior to your due date.

Passage of Mucus Plug-

Another common sign of labor is the passing of bloody show or mucus plug. Thickened sticky blood stained mucus is seen coming out form the cervix during the last days of the ninth month.

Water Bag Breaks

The fluid filled sac of amniotic fluid protecting the baby ruptures and the amniotic water leaks through vagina.

You should consult your doctor if the water leaks or trickles from the vagina.

Generally water bag breaks with the onset of contractions but sometimes water leaks first and then contractions start.

If no painful contractions start even after the leaking of amniotic fluid, you should immediately call your doctor to avoid any infection from ascending the fetus. Your doctor will give you a list of guidelines that should be kept in mind towards the end of your pregnancy. You will also be told when to reach the birth center or the hospital. First time mothers might feel confused with contractions and often feel hesitant in reporting their experiences with the doctors. Simply shed off this apprehension and tell your caregiver whatever your feel.

Every pregnancy is unique and different and no matter how well versed you are with the usual symptoms of labor; still you should trust your instinct and seek immediate care from your care provider. Visit your doctor if you find anything uneasy or uncomfortable.

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