Signs of Labor
The last days before the delivery, the mother will begin to notice the signs of labor which indicate that the pregnancy is almost ending. Besides the sensations that are experienced by the mother, there are also signs that indicate the proximity of the delivery; these can be observed by the mother or by the doctor.
Nobody knows exactly how the labor pain begins, however it is possible that hormonal changes play an important role. Most of women are aware of when the pain caused by labor begins, however it is a little bit difficult to tell. When the pain for labor begins the cervix is dilated. The uterus which is a muscle is contracted on regular intervals, when it contracts the abdomen is hardened. Other signals can also indicate that labor has begun. The mother feels that the baby is placed below and it is due to an abdominal distension which takes place when the head of the baby settles more deeply inside the pelvis, this sign takes place a few weeks or a few hours before the begin of labor.
The mother will also experience more vaginal secretion which can be transparent, pinkish or with traces of blood, this is due to an accumulation of secretions during pregnancy which is pushed outside once the cervix is dilated.
Therefore, there are three signs that can tell you that labor is beginning:
Regular uterine contractions: They usually take place every five minutes and last from 45 seconds to 1 minute. (The contractions are produced by progressively shorter intervals.). These contractions are not necessarily painful, accompanied by a clear hardening of the uterus, which can feel by placing your hand on your abdomen.
The appearance of blood flow: This is the time where you can find a small amount of blood or mucus of brown blood in your underwear. It is the mucus (or plug) that was formed in early stages of pregnancy to close the cervix to prevent infection. If you release a fresh, red blood, or have a heavy flow of menstruation similar to report this to your doctor as soon as possible.
Rupture of membranes: These membranes (or bag) containing the amniotic fluid. In the womb, your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid. The overlying membrane usually broken during the final moments before birth, but sometimes occurs sooner. If it happens before going to the hospital, contact your doctor immediately, the longer the interval between membrane break and birth, the bigger the probability of occurrence of infection.
The membranes may rupture slowly or suddenly. The fluid is usually clear and has no smell of urine. If green, amber, or brown, tell immediately to your doctor because it is a indication that the fetus has a bowel movement (meconium). A deposition before birth is sometimes associated with fetal distress and the doctor or midwife should be investigated.
There is only one way to tell if labor will begin: an internal review conducted by your doctor or midwife to reveal that the cervix is dilating.