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Would Be Mothers! Be Careful About These 5 Pre-Labor Symptoms

Would Be Mothers! Be Careful About These 5 Pre-Labor Symptoms

What pre-labour signs should prospective mothers be aware of, and how should they be managed?

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : May 13, 2023 12:19 PM IST

Happy Mother's Day 2023: The act of giving birth, known as labor, begins with uterine contractions and cervical dilation and ends with the delivery of the infant. You may experience a few modest physical indicators of labor as your due date approaches. Then, hours or even days before you enter active labor and the baby is born, you may show signs of early labor. Many expectant mothers have pondered the sensation of labor, how long it will persist, and how to tell if it's happening or just a false alarm. Predicting the answers to all those questions is challenging because every birth is unique. The signs of delivery/labor can vary for each pregnancy.

How a woman's labor will progress? Dr Kavya Priya Vazrala, Infertility Specialist at Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, shares five common signs of labor.

  • Regular contractions: Actual labor involves regular, rhythmic contractions, and the intensity increases gradually. The abdomen gets hard like a basketball. If the mother is having regular, rhythmic contractions and they are becoming more assertive, then it has to be paid attention. False labor pains, called Braxton hicks contractions, occur irregularly, do not get stronger over time, and eventually subside. They are usually weak and stop when a woman walks, rests or changes her position.
  • Lightening may occur a few hours before labor: In primis, a woman feels like the baby has dropped into the lower portion of her pelvis. In multis, this may occur before labor begins. When the baby goes into the pelvis, the pressure on the diaphragm decreases, making it easier for the woman to breathe. But it increases the pressure on her pelvis and bladder, increasing urine frequency.

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  • Cramps, nausea and diarrhoea: The onset of labor may cause pressure or crampy pain in pelvic and rectal areas, which may radiate to the abdomen and lower back. Few women may experience symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea at the beginning of labor.
  • Rupture of membranes: A pregnant woman's water can break even before labor starts or during labor. They are advised to contact their obstetrician in such cases. Once the mother experiences water breaking is vulnerable to infections.
  • Show: As labor begins or before a few days, a woman may have an increase in vaginal discharge, which may be pink, brown or slightly bloody. This is due to the release of mucus plug that blocks the cervix.

The most common signs are rupture of membranes or regular uterine contractions. However, feel free to go to the hospital early if you have any concerns and consult your obstetrician immediately.

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