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When you are pregnant, it is normal to think about the day when your baby will enter this world. If you are anxious about giving birth and how you will know when you are in labor, various signs and symptoms can help you decide if you are indeed in labor. This will help you be ready for the day when you will be giving birth. Many parents have gone through the problem of not understanding when labor begins and therefore, it is important to know the various signs and symptoms to recognize that you are in labor. One of the many reasons why it is hard to understand whether you are in labor or not is because the signs of labor are often vague and have a tendency to be misinterpreted by expecting parents. If you are confused and unclear about anything related to labor, you should contact any of the best gynecologists in Chennai to ensure that you are ready to meet your baby. Signs of labor can be divided into two parts. Some of the signs and symptoms begin appearing almost a month before you go into labor, whereas, others may only begin a day or even a few hours before you are ready to give birth. Understanding these signs and symptoms is important. During the last month of your pregnancy, if you feel that you may be going into labor, you should go to the best maternity hospital in Chennai to make sure that your baby is fine.
Here are some signs of labor that you will be able to identify two to six weeks before you go into labor: • One of the most common signs of pre-labor is when your baby drops. This refers to the shift of the position of the baby. This is more commonly seen in first-time mothers. In the last few weeks of your pregnancy, your baby will start moving downwards towards the pelvis, in preparation for the labor. This can happen two to six weeks before your actual labor begins. Keep a note of your due date and the weeks before that to notice this sign of pre-labor.
• Dilation of the cervix is commonly associated with labor and your body being ready to give birth. However, the dilation doesn't just happen when you are in labor. It is a process that might begin a few weeks before your actual due date. Your doctor may perform an internal examination to determine the dilation as well as the effacement, which is the thinning of the cervix. If your cervix has begun dilating, it is a sign that your body is preparing to give birth. However, all women are different and their bodies are different. Some may see this sign whereas others may not. There is no reason to be alarmed if your cervix is not dilating a few weeks before your due date.
• An increase in back pain is a common symptom of advanced stage pregnancy. With the increased weight in front of your body, you are bound to experience some back pain. Cramps and mild in the lower back, pelvic area, as well as other joints, is an indication that your body is being prepared to give birth.
• By the last month of a pregnancy, most women will stop gaining any additional weight and some might even lose some. This is normal towards the end of your pregnancy. The baby is still growing, however, other factors such as less amniotic fluid and increased activity keep your weight constant.
• Fatigue and tiredness are also other symptoms that indicate that you are close to giving birth. If you feel extra tired, it may be because your baby is now almost ready to come out and his/her size may be affecting and compressing some of your organs. Getting proper rest towards the end of a pregnancy is very important for you as well as your baby.
As you near your due date, you will start to see other signs and symptoms that will indicate that your labor will be beginning. Identifying these signs is important as they can tell when you will have to go to the hospital if you plan to give birth to your baby at the best maternity hospital in Chennai. Here are some of the signs and
symptoms that can help you identify the beginning of labor: • Losing the mucus plug is an indicator that your labor is starting. A mucus plug keeps the uterus closed until the baby is ready to move out of the uterus. When your body is ready to give birth, most women will lose their mucus plug.
• Another important indicator of labor is the change in color and consistency of the vaginal discharge. If you are a few days away from going into labor, this discharge will be pink and red.
• Contractions are one of the main signs that you are going into labor and your body is ready to give birth. When you are in labor, your contraction would be strong and frequent. False contractions, known as Braxton Hicks contractions will fade over time and will decrease in intensity. However, real contractions would be regular, would increase in intensity over time, and become more frequent.
• Your water may break once you go into labor, however, this is an unlikely scenario. This is often one of the least reliable signs to depend on as it might not happen to you. Focusing on other, more reliable signs and symptoms of labor will help you plan better for the birth of your child.
Senior Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynecology MBBS, DGO,MRCOG