Signs of Labor: Here are the telltale symptoms to tell you how close you are to delivering

Women expecting their first child anticipate the unknown with a mixture of excitement, trepidation and nervousness. If you know the signs of labor from the start, you’d be more on guard for the telltale signs to indicate it has begun.

For women who lack this basic knowledge, they spent most of the nine months questioning:

  •        Is diarrhea a sign of labor?
  •          Is back pain a sign of labor?
  •          What are the signs of preterm labor?

Hence, in this article we’ll outline all of the details for you.

Signs to tell you how fast Your Delivery Date is approaching

As your trimesters keep progressing, you will experience different sets of symptoms according to each phase. Let’s take a look at these in order.

Signs of Preterm Labor

Preterm labor is not an uncommon occurrence. Many pregnant women often go into it when regular contractions start opening their cervix soon after they have completed twenty weeks of pregnancy and before the thirty-seventh week of pregnancy.

As a result, women who go into labor so early give premature birth. Often with premature birth, the risks for the health of the baby are greater too. It is not uncommon for premature babies to require intensive care in the neonatal unit, nor is physical and mental disabilities an uncommon result of a premature birth.

However, there are no certain causes to confirm why premature deliveries happen. Some women go into early labor on account of certain risk factors but there are also many pregnant women who have delivered prematurely, despite facing no risk factors.

Signs of Preterm labor include:

  •          The vaginal discharge may change in color and texture, such as a bloody, mucus-like or watery substance.
  •         The membranes may face a preterm rupturing. This can occur in a continuous trickle or a gush of fluid once the membrane surrounding the baby tears or breaks.
  •          Light bleeding or vaginal spotting
  •          Mild cramps in the abdomen
  •         A sensation of building pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvic region
  •          A constantly dull or low pain in the back
  •         Building intensity of Braxton hicks’ contractions or frequent and regular tightening of the abdomen.

In case, a woman experiences any or more than one signs of preterm labor, or even if she feels something out of place after week twenty of her pregnancy, it is best to contact the Gyn/Ob right away. There is no harm in mistaking false labor for the real one but verifying it right away. A false alarm is far more pleasing than negligence or hesitation in verifying the real thing.

Is back pain a sign of labor?

There is a difference between general pregnancy back pain and typical labor back pain. However, when a pregnant women is experiencing it, she can find it confusing to tell the two apart. Here are some differentiating pointers to bear in mind:

  •         A woman will experience back labor pain when she is actively in labor. Otherwise, the American College for Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that aches and pains in the back are merely a part of the pregnancy period. They occur because of the strain pregnant women have to bear on their back muscles, due to pregnancy hormones or due to weak abdominal muscles.
  •          Women who go into preterm labor (before thirty seven weeks of pregnancy or after 20 weeks) do not suffer back labor at all. According to experts, women who crossed week forty are more likely to experience back labor.
  •         Perhaps the most confusing bit is during the regular contractions. These come and go and the gap between contractions gives women a chance to breathe. However, back labor gives women no respite at all and there is a constant pain in the lower back that intensifies extremely at the height of contractions.

Signs you are Days Away from Labor

You may think you have become the biggest possible but then the following signs can take you by surprise of your impending labor:

·         It is common to feel the baby drop lower down the pelvic area. Many refer to this sensation as engagement and in this, the baby’s weight stops pressing on the diaphragm and allow the mother to breathe more freely resultantly.

  •         Dull back pain that comes on and off.
  •         Slight weight loss.
  •          Vaginal discharge may increase in pinkish or brownish color.
  •         The Braxton hick’s contractions may intensify. In these, women can feel their belly tightening or the uterus hardening, similar to that of mild menstrual cramps.
  •          The cervix may dilate with possible thinning and softening.
  •         Women can feel their rectal or pelvic area tightening at this point of feel pressure building in this area.
  •          Suffering indigestion or frequent vomiting close to labor is a common sign too. It is merely the bowel’s way of lightening the bowels for the uterus to contract well.
  •         Feeling incredibly fatigued, energetic or restlessness is a common sign of labor initiation. Women at this point often become obsessed with not wanting to leave unfinished business at home. It is best conserve precious energy for labor in this stage than exhausting it on house chores.

Is Diarrhea a Sign of Labor?

The endocrine society states that diarrhea or loose stools is a common symptom of impending labor. The prostaglandins hormones in women release and cause the bowel movements to loosen up. Hence, pregnant women who’re a day or two away from their labor may need to make the runs. It’s just how nature empties their bowels for allowing better contraction efficiency of the uterus.

Final Thoughts

Labor is the initiation of the childbirth process but the positive thing about it is that it gives women plenty of warning signs in advance. These are the signs of labor and women can note how close they’re close to delivering by being observant for contractions that feel like the belly tightening, frequent diarrhea or bowel movements, dilation, thinning or softening of the cervix and other notable signs.

For first time moms, it can be especially confusing to figure out how close they are to labor. Being aware of all the possible signs and symptoms in advance will help them prepare proactively and not let real labor catch them labor catch them off-guard.

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