Childbirth! A trembling, long-awaited and definitely responsible moment. Parents-to-be wait for this moment for 9 months, and some wait for this day for years. It is not surprising that in this waiting mode, especially in the last two weeks before the due date, every push of the baby feels like the “X” moment. But how can you tell if labor has really started, and what to do when your baby is ready to come into the world.

How to understand that childbirth has begun, signs

How to know when the labor is coming

Often the body signals long before the birth is due that day is approaching. Every day your body is getting more and more prepared to make the arrival of the baby as comfortable as possible. However, the question of how to know when labor has started worries every expectant mother.

Of course, the best way to determine whether the birth is coming is to help your gynecologist and sonographer. The examinations will help to predict the expected delivery date. You should use it as a basis for preparation. But you should also listen to your body. Among the most common first signs of pre-pregnancy are:

  1. Lowering of the abdomen.
  2. Weight loss.
  3. Digestive upset.
  4. Training contractions.
  5. Approaching the due date.

These are the first “swallows” of the preceding labor. You should pay attention to them and tell your supervising specialist. He will examine you and determine whether you need constant medical supervision, or whether you can wait at home to give birth. By the way, at this point it is better to prepare all the necessary things for the maternity hospital.

How to know when the labor is starting

In fact, the feeling of the beginning of labor is difficult to confuse with anything else. But, it is important to pay attention to the primary factors that will allow you to contact specialists in time and reduce the risks during the passage of labor.

The most obvious signs are that you will meet your baby in the next day or two:

  1. Detachment of mucous plugs.
  2. Pouring of amniotic fluid.
  3. Contractions at regular intervals, increasing over time. When contractions start, you should mark their passage on a piece of paper. This will help doctors determine the interval and also let you know if their frequency is increasing. In training contractions, their frequency does not increase, and after 3-7 times contractions may stop altogether.

In addition, you should pay attention to the accompanying factors. These include a pulling pain in the lower abdomen, the feeling of separation of the pelvic bone, and others. Below we will talk about each symptom in detail and how you can tell when the labor is starting.

How to understand that childbirth has begun, signs


Health conditions need to be monitored throughout your pregnancy. However, a couple of weeks before labor, you need to be alert and note every change. We’ll take a look at the main signs of the beginning of labor, from the very first, to the key signs that signal that labor is about to begin.

Lowering of the abdomen.

One of the first signs that your baby is about to be born is abdominal prolapse. This occurs about 2-3 weeks before labor, depending on individual differences. At this point, the baby takes a favorable position for the impending birth.

Physiologically, this is due to the fact that the baby presses the head (if the baby’s position is correct) to the lower part of the uterus, as a result, it moves into the pelvic area.

In addition to the fact that you will literally see the abdomen lowering, you will feel the freedom of breathing. The baby will no longer press on your ribs and prop up your lungs. But here walk, sit will be more difficult. And now you will have to go to the bathroom more often.

Weight Loss

At the same time, a loss of several kilograms is possible. The hormone progesterone begins to be produced in much smaller quantities, which leads to the removal of excess fluid from the body. The good news is that the swelling will go away, or significantly decrease. As you can see, the first signs can be quite pleasant.

Normally, you can lose up to 2 kilograms. If the weight loss proceeds quickly and in large amounts, it is worth seeing a specialist. Exhaustion, the last thing you need before childbirth.

Digestive Disorder

The above changes affect the digestive system as well. It’s worth keeping a close eye on the accompanying symptoms of a bowel disorder. If you do not experience uncharacteristic nausea, vomiting, a significant increase in temperature, then the disorder is caused by the natural processes of hormonal changes before childbirth. If additional alarms are added to the stool disorder, it is worth going to the doctor and checking for the absence of E. coli.

How to understand that childbirth has begun, signs

Training contractions.

Another “fascinating” sign of impending labor is training contractions. The body prepares itself for labor two to three weeks in advance. This way your uterus is practicing. They are characterized by a painless sensation of involuntary contractions and stiffening of the uterine muscles for a few seconds. Training contractions can go in chains of several times.

It should be noted that in some cases the first signs in the form of training contractions do not occur, or pass so imperceptibly that the woman does not feel any changes in her body’s behavior. But, some women feel training contractions quite acutely. If they last for a short time, there is no reason to worry, but if their frequency increases, and they last longer than expected, it is worth to call an ambulance, maybe the hour “X” has come.

Occurrence of mucous plug

Now we come to the more global signs of an impending labor. The uncoupling of mucus plug is one of the most obvious signs that you should go to the hospital, or at least your gynecologist.

Mucus plug is a protective plug created by the body. It prevents germs and infections from entering the uterine cavity, thereby protecting both mother and baby. Before labor, the uterus softens and can no longer “hold” the plug.

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Externally, the discharge has a thick, jelly-like texture. It can be completely transparent or colored up to pink and red. The secretion has a characteristic appearance, and you are sure not to confuse it with a normal discharge.

Amniotic fluid leakage

Another obvious sign is an outpouring of water. You’ve probably seen this in every movie where there is a birthing scene, and the main character’s cry of “water has broken” must have been in your memory.

While the baby is developing, it is protected by amniotic fluid. When the baby is ready to come into the world, the bubble bursts and the water naturally pours out. If this happens, go to the hospital immediately, because the baby may come into the world in the next few hours.

Important! Do not drive under any circumstances after water breakthrough. Moment of labor activity occurs very individually, and how your body reacts your body can not know even yourself.

How to understand that childbirth has begun, signs


And now about the most important first sign of impending labor – contractions. Why the most important? Sometimes the breakage of amniotic fluid and mucus plug does not come, but contractions always come!

Regular contractions that carry the message to the expectant mother have one feature – they become more and more intense, the space between them shortens.

At this time the uterus opens and the baby begins its slow movement “to freedom”. You should urgently go to the maternity hospital, and go under the supervision of specialists.

In rare cases, a woman feels contractions quite weakly. Then you should pay attention to the appointed date of labor and the regularity of contractions.

Other signs

Among additional signs of impending labor it is worth noting changes in mood, taste preferences, you may begin to be more tired and sleep longer, or conversely have a restless sleep. What to do about it? First of all, do not be nervous. If your symptoms make you very uncomfortable (for example, you cannot hold back anger and tears, or you are overcome by insomnia, which makes it impossible to sleep), it is worth seeing a specialist who is in charge of you. He will prescribe a safe sedative. Trust me, you’re going to need your strength, so make sure you get plenty of rest in the weeks before the baby comes.

Is it possible to miss the signs of impending labor and the birth itself

Practice shows that this question is very often on the gynecologist’s agenda. When a woman gives birth for the first time, she has hundreds of questions on which she simply needs answers. And, no matter how absurd this question may seem to specialists or experienced mothers, it is also worth answering.

  1. So, is it possible to miss the first signs of the beginning of labor? Some yes! But not all. For example, a mom-to-be may not notice the sinking of the belly, especially if it was small. You may miss the moment of training contractions, there may be no change in your diet or mood. You may not have felt problems with swelling, so you won’t notice the cessation. But, it is impossible to miss contractions, the withdrawal of mucous plug or water (if it happens). Believe me, one of the signs that soon you will go to the hospital you will definitely notice. We are not talking about maternal intuition and self-perception of your body in general.
  1. Can you miss the birthing process? – Of course not! No matter how much you fear it (or how much you dream about it), no woman has ever missed the birth of her child.

Separately, we want to point out that you don’t have to be shy about asking your doctor questions, or in the medical app’s chat room. If you keep these questions to yourself, the only thing you will get is insomnia.

How to understand that childbirth has begun, signs

Signs in first and second pregnancies

Signs of going into labor can vary, depending on which pregnancy counts. For the most part, the signs of going into labor the second time are the same as the first, but there are a few differences:

  1. The belly may drop just a few days before labor.
  2. Waters may break much earlier than labor begins.
  3. Training contractions may be insensitive, or not at all.

The difference can be subtle or dramatic. Not least it depends on the time interval between births.

It is important to remember that every birth is individual. If the first birth was difficult but natural, the second one will not necessarily have the same complications. Always keep a good attitude and listen to your doctor.

What to do if labor begins

If you notice signs that labor is starting (or if you think it is), you need to do two things – stay calm and go to the maternity hospital. In some cases, you can afford to delay; in others, you need to act more judiciously. For example:

  1. If you notice that your mucus plug has come loose, you should contact your gynecologist. Perhaps you will be invited for an additional checkup, possibly referred to the maternity hospital.
  2. If your water has already broken, you should pack your things and get to the maternity hospital. From now on you need constant supervision. But remember the rule about not driving.
  3. If you begin to have contractions that become more frequent (regardless of whether the water has broken and the plug or not), you should call an ambulance or go to the maternity hospital urgently.

For the process to go as safely and comfortably as possible, there are a few rules to follow even before you see the first signs of labor:

  1. Don’t go on a long trip a couple of weeks before your due date.
  2. Gather all the things you need for labor, and put them near the exit.
  3. Decide in advance on the birthing center where you will give birth.
  4. Write down the phone numbers of the hospital, doctor and gynecologist on a piece of paper, and put it in a prominent place in your apartment so that your relatives have access to the numbers in case of need.
  5. Always take your documents with you (including your mommy-to-be’s chart) for the last couple of weeks before the birth. In case of an emergency call to the hospital from outside your home, the receiving doctor will be able to access the initial data immediately, which will help in the delivery.

With proper planning, the first signs and moment of labor will be as easy as possible, and you will be able to focus on the most important thing: the birth of your baby. The will help you prepare 100% for the birth.

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