How to Spot Signs of Labor
When you are approaching labor, it is actually pretty common to begin experiencing what is known as Braxton Hicks or false labor. These contractions feel very similar to true labor, but are actually not related at all. Some doctors believe they are simply the body’s process of moving and circulating fluids throughout the body and preparing for giving birth.
In order to determine if you are having true labor or are experiencing Braxton Hicks instead, it is best to take a look at the common signs of labor compared to the other.
One of the most common signs that you are entering labor is when you begin experiencing contractions. These contractions will begin at a certain length of time apart and continually grow closer together as you grow closer to giving birth. They will also grow in intensity as you are getting closer to giving birth, which is another sign that you are experiencing true labor pains.
Another labor sign is when you experience a great release of water. This is normally referred to as “your water breaking” because it occurs when a sac of fluid breaks because of the changes in your body as it prepares to go into labor. Sometimes women experience this before they even begin experiencing contractions, but sometimes doctors have to break the water for them at the hospital.
You may also notice losing a thick mucus substance that is referred to as the mucus plug. This is another thing that occurs shortly before a woman goes into labor. This mucus seals up the opening of the uterus while you are pregnant. When it comes out, this is a sign that you will begin labor soon.
As before mentioned, Braxton Hicks is a common condition women experience when they are towards the end of their pregnancy. It is actually something that begins shortly after a woman becomes pregnant, but doesn’t usually have symptoms until the woman is in her second trimester.
Braxton Hicks contractions can feel very similar to true labor contractions. However, there are some significant differences. For starters, the contractions will typically not be as strong as real contractions. In fact, many women only experience mild discomfort with them.
Another difference is in the regularity of the contractions. As before mentioned labor contractions have a pattern and grow closer together as time progresses. However, with Braxton Hicks contractions, the contractions are intermittent, which means they are not regular and don’t follow a pattern.
Learning more about the signs of labor can help you determine whether you are truly in labor or not. However, it is always best to ere on the side of caution and head to the ER if you believe you are having pregnancy or labor related issues.
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