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Going Into Labor: False Signs + How to Know It’s Time

Filed under : Expecting YUM

By: Grace Michel

Expecting Moms, the best way to be prepared for labor is to learn to pay attention to your body’s signals

Throughout the entire experience of being pregnant, there are many emotions and anticipations about what you’re going through. Knowing this, it is easy to understand why the last few weeks of a pregnancy can be the hardest to deal with mentally.

Women who fear the pain of labor will start second-guessing every bodily sensation, wondering if it’s finally time. Although it can scare you to take that last leap into motherhood, the impatient feeling also grows stronger: you are ready for the next step, ready to meet your wonderful baby.

There are signs of going into labor that are impossible to miss, and also some that can be misleading.

One thing to remember is that it’s always better to be safe than sorry; it’s very common for a pregnant woman to believe she is in labor, only to be told to return home and rest. So don’t worry about making that same mistake, just listen to what your body is telling you.

I was once given a very good piece of advice: don’t listen to women who have previously had children, they will love trying to scare the crap out of you.

Every pregnant woman fears her first contraction, so much that the tiniest bit of pain might make you think you’re going into labor! Try to stay calm and be patient; it’s important to count the length of the contractions and the amount of time in between them. If they are the real deal, the contractions will consistently become more intense and longer lasting.

You should also know that there is such a thing as false contractions. These painful feelings, called Braxton Hicks contractions, usually happen for several months before you even notice them. They become more painful and frequent during the last few weeks of pregnancy, which is what confuses women into thinking they are actually in labor. You will know that they are not real labor pains because they will not grow stronger, last longer, or occur closer together. This is why you should make sure to keep track of the duration and intensity of the contractions.

If your water breaks, this is definitely a sign that you are starting labor. However there are many women that go into labor without this happening, and it is then manually done to move things along. Therefore you should not count on your water breaking to tell you it’s time to go to the hospital, but it is the easiest way to know for sure. Your contractions should grow stronger once your water is broken, although you do not need to worry about those anymore; there is no doubt at this point that your body is ready to give birth to your baby girl or boy (or both!).

Two more occurrences that you may or may not notice often signify the beginning of labor: back pain and what is called a bloody show. The appearance of a bloody discharge from your vagina is the body’s signal that the baby is ready to move down into the birth canal. This means that your body is ready to go into labor, although it still might not happen for a few days. If the bloody show is accompanied by a sudden increase in back pain (many women feel back pain for most of the pregnancy), it could be a sign that it’s time for labor. Especially take notice if the back pain continues to intensify, much like contractions would.

The best way to be prepared for labor is to learn to pay attention to your body’s signals. Each person is unique, and a change in your body could mean something completely different from the same occurrence in another person. If you have doubts about the signals you are getting, do not hesitate to take action. Sometimes it is just too difficult to be sure, and the last thing you want to do is ignore what your body is telling you.

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