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10 Signs that You are in Labour

Written and reviewed by
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  38 years experience
10 Signs that You are in Labour

Labour signs are pretty important. This is the time when your baby is ready to come out of the womb. This is the most anticipated yet dreaded moment for a woman. Here is a list of 10 signs that will help you to identify labour symptoms and prepare yourself accordingly:

  1. The baby drops: A couple of weeks before the labour, the baby starts descending into the pelvis. This is the way how the baby prepares the exit. This makes a woman waddle more than ever before. The good thing is that it gives more breathing space to a woman as the lung slowly frees up due to the baby’s downward descent.
  2. The cervix dilates: The cervix prepares for birth too. It slowly starts to open and thin out few days before the baby’s birth. This becomes very evident during the weekly check-up before the birth of the baby. That said, some women tend to dilate slowly.
  3. Cramping and back painWith the advancement of labour, a woman tends to face more cramps in the back and groin. This happens due to the preparation of the joints and the muscles for the baby’s arrival. There is no reason to be tensed as this is a normal symptom before birth.
  4. Loose joints: Relaxin hormone is responsible for making muscles and ligaments to loosen up throughout the period of pregnancy. Before the labour begins, all the joints of the body might feel a little loose. There is no reason to worry since this is the way the body prepares itself for the birth of the new one.
  5. Diarrhea: As the uterus muscles relax, other musles too relax. The relaxation of the rectum muscle can lead to irregular bowel movements. This might feel like a little gross, but from the baby’s birth point of view, this is a very good sign.
  6. Weight gain stops: During the last couple of weeks of pregnancy, a woman might not gain any weight at all, infact weight loss is witnessed during this period. This happens due to lower availability of amniotic fluid. Rest assured the baby is safe and is still gaining weight.
  7. Feeling of tiredness: Feeling tired and exhausted is a common phenomenon during this period. An active bladder along with sleepless nights during the last week can wear out a woman. The trick is to rest as much as one can.
  8. Vaginal dischargeAn increased amount of vaginal discharge is typically witnessed during the last few days of the pregnancy. Loss of mucus plug and pinkish discharge through the vagina is a common sign of labour.
  9. Frequent contraction: Contraction becomes a frequent occurrence before the labour. This results from the tightening of the uterus muscles. These contractions don’t go away and start from the lower abdomen. They are more painful compared to the earlier ones.
  10. Water breaks: This is the final sign of labour. But, this is witnessed in less than 15 percent of all pregnant women. Water breakage is instantly felt and is a sure sign of the baby preparing to come out of the womb.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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