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
The 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.
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
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