How do you know when you are in labour ?

This is the big question, how do you know when it’s the real deal?

Labour is different for everyone, some people have no signs before the contractions begin and others have some hints that things are heating up.

Signs include:

Backache, any pain that comes and goes could be a sign labour is begin, time the backache and if it regular and there is a rhythm to the discomfort this could be the beginning of labour.

Diarrhoea, sometimes our bodies prepare for the birth this way.

A “show” this is the mucus plug that has fallen away. Some women will notice this show whilst others will completely miss it. The mucus plug coming away does not necessarily mean labour will begin however this is a very good sign.

Contractions may begin slowly like a period like cramping feel.  The contractions maybe irregular at first not lasting very long then as they slowly build up there is a definite pattern to the contractions. It may feel like a ban dis being tightening around your belly with a peak like feeling then that feeling fades away.

If your waters break contractions may begin soon after. However this may not be the case with some women.  Most care providers allow you some time to go into labour by yourself without intervention. This period is different with every provider, so it is best to call your care provider when your waters break.  If the contractions do not heat up at all and labour doesn’t begin most hospitals will require your labour to be induced within 36 hours of the water breaking. Please always check with your carer.

The key to the early labour (Latent Phase) is to rest if it’s night time, get on with your normal life if it’s daytime, eat well and hydrate often.  Remember this is the very early stage of labour and you may have a long way to go before your baby arrives. Call the hospital to receive advice and keep positive.