How would you know when you are about to give birth? In the Philippines’ rural areas, there are lots of beliefs, superstitions and practices that are related to labor and delivery such as special concoctions to ease the labor, or prohibited food or clothes that bring bad luck or difficulty in delivering the baby.
Here are the early signs of labor that you should be aware of to make sure that you are prepared for this very important event.
There are two types of contractions that are associated with the early signs of labor: early and rhythmic. Early contractions are light and infrequent contractions. Sometimes, women do not feel this type of contractions because these are not too strong to be noticed. If they are felt, some women mistake this for actual contractions for labor itself. Thus, they rush to the hospital, only to be sent back home to wait for the actual labor. The other type of contractions is rhythmic. This is quite intense and occurs in a rhythmic pattern that happens regularly. This is much more associated with the actual labor.
During the course of pregnancy, the cervix has a mucus plug to prevent any infection from harmful pathogens. As the day of delivery comes nearer, this mucus plug is released because the cervix starts to soften and dilate. There will be a considerable vaginal discharge corresponding to this in the form of a bloody “show” or blob. A few days before labor, there will also be white and thick vaginal discharge. However, if the discharge is thin and watery, it may be a sign of amniotic fluid leak which would warrant a call or visit to the doctor immediately.
When one experiences loose bowel movement, the body produces a lot of prostaglandin, the chemical associated with this bodily function. As the date of delivery comes nearer, the body releases the chemical prostaglandin to help the muscles of the body contract, most especially the muscles that are associated with childbirth such as the ones in the pelvic area and uterus. Because of this sudden release of chemicals in the body, the pregnant woman experiences diarrhea. This is also a helpful thing too because the bowels are emptied thus preventing harmful infections associated with the actual labor in that area.
Many pregnant women feel back pains throughout their pregnancy but towards the day of delivery, the back pains seem to be magnified and quite harsh. This is a sign that the baby has “engaged” or “dropped” meaning the baby has moved from where it was near the stomach area down to the pelvic area. The head of the baby will then be pressed against the spine causing back pains. Most of the time, women will have a hard time moving around because of the pain radiating from the back to the hip and pelvic area.
Your Water Breaks
“My water just broke” is a famous line in movies and television. This is a perfectly valid indication that labor is about to begin but it is not necessarily true for all women. Some women get this rupturing of membranes early on while others need a doctor to rupture the membrane during active labor.