Signs of Labor You Need to Know
The exact trigger that induces labor is still unclear at this point. However, there are many signs that a pregnant woman can acknowledge to know that she is in fact going into labor. These commonly seen symptoms will ensure you know it's time to head to your physician.
When the baby drops to a lower position in a pregnant woman's pelvis, this is known as "lightening". When this happens, the baby is moving to a head-down position to help facilitate the birth process. Lightening can happen anywhere between a few hours or a few weeks before labor officially starts.
The uterus is a muscle and will begin contracting regularly prior to birth to move the baby into a lower birth canal position. These same contractions will also help push the baby out at the end of the birthing process. These contractions will be strong and regular when labor begins, often starting in the back.
During development, the fetus will grow in a protective sac filled with amniotic fluid. When this sac ruptures, it is often described as a woman's water breaking. The amount of liquid that is released at once can vary from woman to woman as a rush of liquid or a trickle.
It is not uncommon for an increase in discharge when labor begins or the days leading up to it. The color of this discharge can range from pink to brown and may appear slightly bloody. This is called the "bloody show" and is caused by the release of the mucous plug blocking the cervix.
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