5 signs of labour every pregnant woman should know

 5 signs of labour every pregnant woman should know

The journey of pregnancy brims with anticipation, excitement, and nerves, spanning roughly 40 weeks, though it can vary from 37 to 42 weeks. 

These weeks unfold in three trimesters, each marked by its own milestones. In the final trimester, spanning weeks 28 to 40, your body readies itself for labor. 

As the due date looms, anticipation may give way to the question: “How will I recognize the onset of labor?”

What exactly is labour?

Labour is the innate process where your body guides your baby’s delivery. It’s a meticulously coordinated series of actions, with vigorous muscle contractions in your uterus guiding your baby through the birth canal into the world.

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Contractions mark the onset of labor, but your body often provides subtle signals beforehand. 

Here are some early signs to watch for:

Show” time: You might experience a discharge of mucus mixed with a little blood. This is caused by the cervix thinning and opening, but it doesn’t necessarily mean labour is imminent. It can happen anywhere from days to weeks before delivery.

Lightning crotch: This term might sound a bit dramatic, but it describes a sensation of pressure or heaviness in your pelvis as your baby settles lower into your belly. This can happen anywhere from a few weeks to a few hours before labour begins.

Increased cervical changes: Your cervix, the opening to your womb, will start to soften and thin out (efface) in preparation for labour. You won’t feel this directly, but your doctor can detect these changes during a check-up or cervical examination.

Energy surge or nesting instinct: Some women experience a burst of energy right before labour, often accompanied by a strong urge to clean, organise, and prepare the nursery (nesting). This is your body’s way of getting things ready for the arrival of your little one.

Braxton Hicks contractions: Don’t confuse these with real labour. Braxton Hicks practices contractions your uterus experiences throughout pregnancy. They feel like a tightening in your belly and are usually irregular, painless, and go away on their own.

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