The Signs That Labor is Near
Nine months has almost passed and you know labor could be approaching, but nobody knows exactly what triggers it. Remember that every pregnancy experience is unique and your labor is unique as well. However, all pregnant women experience signs and symptoms that help to identify the moment in which labor is near and what to expect.
At any given moment during your last weeks of pregnancy, you may feel a lightening or a feel of the pressure being somewhat relieved. This occurs when you feel like if your baby id deeper into your pelvis due to a change in position may give your lungs more room to expand, to make it easier to breathe, therefore, increased pressure on your bladder makes urination more frequent.
This condition usually happens from a few weeks to a few days before labor begins during your first pregnancy. For subsequent pregnancies, lightening may not happen with too notice, but just a few days before labor begins.
Dilation is the most common sign that the labor is near, this occurs when your cervix begins to open or dilate. The cervix opening is measured in order to determine the moment of your due date. Dilation is measured in centimeters from zero to 10 and progress usually starts very slow.
The cervix of most pregnant women is only dilated 2 to 3 centimeters for several days and sometimes weeks before labor, beginning to dilate more quickly as the due date is closer. Effacement or ripening of the cervix may occur to prepare the cervix for birth. Ripening occurs by softening and thinning of the cervix, but you will not be able to feel it. Cervical changes can only be found through medical vaginal exams.
Another sign that labor is near, occurs with a bloody show or loss of mucus plug. This plug of mucus is blocking your cervical opening to prevent bacteria or viruses from enter your uterus during pregnancy. However, as the due date is approaching, the cervix begins to efface and open, causing that plug which may be discharged, viewed as a thick discharge of stringy mucus, usually brown and sometimes bloody.
Rupture of membranes is usually one of the most well known signs that labor is near. This occurs when your water breaks. When the break occurs at home, you need to consult the doctor in the doubt that the water could be urine, amniotic fluid, or something else.
Labor begins with the rupture of the amniotic sac, which is a fluid-filled membrane cushioning your baby in the uterus. Occasionally, the sac may break or leak before labor begins, but once the sac is no longer intact, timing is important due to the risk of developing an infection.
There are several other signs that labor is close, whether it is when contractions begin, or the nesting urge and the spurt of energy happens, however you should be aware that false alarms also occur in the boundary between body's preparation for labor and the true labor process.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is not to be used to replace professional medical advice. Always consult a doctor on medical matters.
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