"Labor is characterized by the appearance of painful uterine contractions. These include the entire uterus, miss and appear at regular intervals - at 15 minutes, then more often at 10 minutes, at 8 minutes, until the actual time of birth. Between contractions, the uterus relaxes. , and the pain is diminished significantly. "
Dr. Anca Panaitescu
specialist obstetrics-gynecology specialist
The first changes announcing the imminent birth occur a few days or even weeks before the event itself. They are joined, in the hours before the baby's arrival in the world, other concrete signs that will cause you to take the right measures: contact the doctor, go to the hospital or simply relax and wait.
It is important to be aware of the signs of labor, or just not to alarm you considering that there may be something wrong with your little one. Therefore, during the period preceding the birth, pay close attention to the following "symptoms" that announce, slowly but surely, the onset of labor!
In the weeks preceding the birth
About 2-3 weeks before the estimated date of birth, the first signs of labor will appear, that is, the progressive dilation of the cervix and the lowering of the fetus along the uterus that will allow it to come into the world. Initially, the signs may be unobtrusive and you could easily ignore them. Thereafter, the symptoms will become impossible to ignore. In this area, you may face:
• abdominal cramps similar to menstrual, not very intense;
• the need to urinate / defecate more often;
• modification of the consistency of the seats; you may have diarrhea or softer stools than usual;
• back pain;
• anxiety and general discomfort;
• pressure felt in the lower area of the abdomen, as well as in the hip joints;
• energy attacks, followed by states of fatigue;
• frequent, abundant vaginal secretions, in the form of pink mucus.
Also during this period you may also have false contractions - Braxton-Hicks contractions - which usually produce minimal to moderate discomfort and manifest as abdominal pain with a short duration of about 1-2 minutes. Their role? To prepare your cervix for the next stage, of the real contractions that precede the birth of the child.
In the hours before birth
In the hours before the child comes into the world, you will notice a series of signs announcing the labor. One of these is the removal of a mucous plug that filled the cervix during pregnancy, protecting the fetus from infections. You may or may not notice the expulsion of this gelatinous stopper, and this is because, sometimes, its elimination will be done gradually, over several weeks. Another sign is the breaking of the water following the removal of the plug that covers the cervix.
At this stage, you will notice a fluid that is often colorless and clear (but can be easily colored, from yellow to green or brown). Breaking the water can coincide with the beginning of labor, but from this event to the beginning of birth-specific contractions, it may take several hours. Eventually, you will feel the contractions that mark labor until the baby is born. Their purpose is to dilate the cervix sufficiently to allow the baby to pass.
In a first phase, contractions, which occur at regular intervals, will be rare, but as labor progresses, you will experience them more and more often. You can time the time between two contractions to know what stage of labor you are in. In addition, as the time between two contractions is reduced, their intensity will increase. If you are about to bring your first child into the world, you should know that labor will probably take a little longer than for future births.
Its duration can vary greatly, but you will benefit from its assistance and care, possible injections with glucose, magnesium, calcium or anxiolytic substances to help you cope with the hard work. The suffering that birth contractions can trigger can be improved or eliminated completely by administering the epidural injection. You can also decide on the spot if you want to benefit from this anesthetic, but it is best to consult with your doctor beforehand, to be aware of both the benefits and the risks involved in the procedure.
How did you experience the work experience? What were the symptoms you had? Share your story in the comment section below!
Tags Pregnancy questions Labor signs Labor beginnings Labor contractions Labor birth contractions Birth signs