All it takes is one embarrassing rush to the hospital to convince you to wait until you are really in labor. As the baby is moving and growing and your body endures pain and discomfort, the sensations might overwhelm you. If you know the signs, you can prepare yourself for real labor. When you feel a combination of these signs, get ready to race to the hospital.
Remember that exhausted feel you’ve had for the last nine months. It might lift a few days or hours before labor. If you have a sudden burst of energy or desire to prepare, go for it. Pack the bag, finish decorating the nursery and organize the clothes. The time is coming soon. You may start feeling the baby make his way to your cervix to prepare for birth. If you’ve been feeling certain body parts of your baby, you may notice that he is moving to lie upside down inside you. You may notice his head is no longer sticking out your side but is situating near your cervix. You might start feeling his feet near your ribs. As he begins to descend, you may start feeling less cramped in your ribs and lungs. You and those around your might see your belly start to lower as the baby and organs push toward your cervix.
As your body starts to prepare for labor, you will start to see some physical signs. These signs will let you know that it’s time to start the car and prepare to go to the hospital. The mucous plug in your cervix will release from its spot, causing some bleeding. If you notice some light spotting, be aware that this is a sign of labor. This might accompany some back pain and some cramping or contractions. If you aren’t sure if these are labor signs, check your cervix. It should start dilating. Place your fingers or ask your partner to place his fingers near the cervix to see if it is expanding at all.
When your contractions start coming more frequently and more intensely, get out a watch. When they start coming consistently, like every few minutes, it’s time to grab that bag, get in the car and head to the hospital. If your water breaks, releasing fluids, get going even faster. The Oregon Health and Science University website says that most women give birth within 24 hours of their water breaking.
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