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You are here : home > Pregnancy > Labour and Delivery > Common Signs of Labour

Common Signs of Labour

Common Signs of Labour

How to know if the labour has started or not? Pregnant women observe signs like contractions, backache and breaking of waters when she goes into labour. Read on to know in detail about the common signs of labour.

signs of labour are pretty clear and once you get to notice any of them you are required to get in touch with your doctor or midwife without delay. It is natural for most women to get nervous as the delivery date approaches, but the best way to deal with it is to keep your calm and stay well informed on what to expect and how to react to those conditions. It usually begins with regular contractions that grow stronger every time. Given below are the step-by-step signs that you will notice when the labour gets intense.

The Contractions Become Regular

A contraction is defined as a state when the uterus tightens up and relaxes subsequently in cycles. Contractions are something that is felt throughout the pregnancy period and particularly towards the end of the pregnancy term. Towards the end of the third trimester you would have already felt the painless contractions that are clinically known as the Braxton Hicks contractions.

When you are close to your delivery date you will notice that the contractions have become quite painful and regular, and if you notice that these contractions are lasting for over 30 seconds, you know that this is a sign that labour has started. With passing time you will feel these contractions turning for frequent, intense and stays for a longer period. The intensity of the pain is caused as the muscles in the womb contract. It helps to push down the baby towards the end of the uterus or the cervix for the final delivery. So call your midwife or the hospital the moment you experience these strong contractions.

A Severe Backache

This may not be a general sign as some women do not experience this heavy feeling in their back at all. The pain is quite similar to the ache one gets during their menstrual periods, but more intense. Nonetheless, it is also a sign of labour.

The ‘Show’

This is a very definite sign of approaching labour. The cervix or the opening of the uterus is blocked by a plug of mucus that acts like a stopper or a clog. Just with the onset of labour, this plug gets naturally removed and is passed through the vagina. You will notice this as a pink jellylike substance, which is sticky too.

In many women this is passed out in a single blob, while in others it can come out in several pieces of mucus. The colour is pinkish as the mucus is stained with blood, there can be also a little passing of blood with the ‘show’, but if you notice that the blood flow is intense or continues for a longer time, you need medical attention immediately. The ‘show’ is basically an indication that labour can set in at any moment as the cervix is beginning to open. But the point to note is that some women can move in straight into labour without the ‘show’ happening at all.

The Breaking of Waters

This is another unmistakable sign of labour. Now the water can break and still the labour is on hold for some women, while in some the labour starts immediately after the breaking of waters, but both cases are normal according to the doctors. The water is basically the amniotic fluid that the baby is surrounded with inside the uterus. As the delivery time approaches, this sac breaks and the amniotic fluid passes out through the vagina. This state is called the breaking of waters.

The feeling is like a slow trickle coming out of your vagina or maybe the gush that wants to flow out immediately. If you are lying on a bed, place a plastic sheet underneath you, or keep a sanitary towel handy if you happen to be on the move. The appearance of the amniotic fluid is not very different from the urine, it is pale in colour. As it begins to pass out, you will find it a bit pinkish to red as some amount of blood will be mixed with it. If the fluid smells and the blood content is high, you need to report to your doctor without delay.

It is the calmness and the close attention of the people around you that will see you through your delivery. So notice the signs of labour that you receive from your body and act accordingly. The more poised and calm you are the better will you be to deal with the situation. After all, the labour will be followed by the delivery of the baby that will require quite some display of strength and stamina on your part.

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Mahima.7 years ago
Very great article. Knowing the common signs of labour is very helpful as it takes the fear away from the labour process. It also helps to differentiate between false labour and true labour.
shailaja.7 years ago
This article is really very helpful. one of the best ways to overcome fears and anxieties about labour is to find out more information. What to expect during labour helps in the delivery process.
Rehana Aziz
Rehana Aziz.7 years ago
i m expecting and my due date is in April. I was very nervous about how I will cope with labour and birth, but after reading this article, I m at ease.
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The most common early sign of labour is contractions. It is important to recognize a labour contraction from Braxton-Hicks contractions. Lightening or the baby coming down to pelvis is also a common s...
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' breaking of the waters’is the common sign of labour.When this happens, it means that the amniotic sac has ruptured, resulting in amniotic fluid trickling or gushing from your vagina. It is not muc...
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