Warning Signs if you are about to Deliver your Baby
The warning signs that labor is ready to begin will show all over your body. If these warning signs are ignored, there is risk for both the mother and the child.
1) Stomach becomes relaxed
Approaching labor, you will feel the child has already started to move lower. As the baby enters the pelvic area, the pressure on the stomach exerted by the baby will suddenly lessen and will feel much more comfortable, shortly afterwards the appetite will improve.
2) Abdomen will Throb
In order to help the womb contract for childbirth, the abdomen will frequently throb; this is called the ‘false labor pain’. After 9 months pregnancy, the lower back will feel painful, the lower abdomen will feel hard with a weak pain. Sensitive mothers will think this weak pain is labor pain, but if it is not frequent or strong, it is a false labor pain.
3) Baby’s Movement Decreases
In order for the child to be born, it must first move into the pelvic area where there is much less space and so its movement will decrease. There is no need to worry too much at this stage if your baby suddenly stops moving or its movement is lessened.
TIP: Can’t Feel the Baby’s Movements
If you are worried that you cannot feel any baby movement or the movement has become dull, you can roll onto your left side for 10 minutes and you should feel the baby move. If you have no feeling for 24 hours, go for an immediate consultation as there is a possibility the child is being strangled by the umbilical cord.
4) Frequent Need to Urinate
At this stage, the womb will also lower in the body, thus increasing the pressure on the bladder and so it will accompany a strong need to urinate. If you wake up 2 or 3 times during the night in order to go to the bathroom, this is a sure sign the birth is approaching.
The True Signs of Labor
5) See blood mixed with mucus
When labor pain starts, the baby will forcibly start to move down and the cervix will slowly start to dilate. At this time, you will see a discharge from the cervix of blood mixed with mucus, this is called the ‘bloody show’ or ‘mucus plug’ and will typically be red or pink. When this appears, it is a sign the labor is imminent and maybe labor pains will follow immediately after, but contractions may not start for another two or three days.
6) Periodic Contractions
Contractions arise from the necessary passage of the baby down the narrow birthing canal in order to be born. When labor starts, the whole womb will become hard and, at the same time, the baby will begin to be pushed out. Every woman is very different. However, if during the final stages of pregnancy a weak labor pain turns into a regular pain and becomes more intense, this is the start of labor. After the irregular ‘false labor pain’, every 20-30 minutes there will be 10-20 seconds of strong pain. When you start to feel the gap between the contractions are getting shorter, this is the sign that labor has started and you must go to the hospital immediately.
7) Leaking of Amniotic Fluid
As the mouth of the womb opens, the amniotic sac will rupture and fluid will flow out. This is easy to distinguish as the volume is far greater than any other secretion, it will flow out like warm water between the legs. For every 10 pregnant women, there are 2-3 who experience an early rupture of the amniotic sac. This happens before the contractions have actually started. Amniotic fluid is typically found by the mouth of the womb just before it is fully opened ready to give birth. The problem with the early rupture depends on what stage the womb has reached before the sac ruptures. After early rupture, the child has risk from bacteria and infection, so you must go to the hospital immediately. There is no need to wash before going to the hospital, and even if the distance is very short, you must not walk.
Be wary of the above mentioned warning signs so as not to panic later on.