Birth preparationBirth preparationPregnancy

What are the early signs of labour?

Labour tends to start gradually and lots of women wont even notice when it’s in it’s early stages. Regular tightening/cramping of the lower abdomen or back that steadily get stronger and closer together are the most common signs. The cramping may start off feeling like period type pain and may also be felt in the groin and thighs. There are signs that labour is imminent which include:

  • Having a ‘show’ – the plug of mucous starts to break down and  away as the cervix softens and starts to dilate
  • Waters breaking – this can having before contractions but usually happens when contractions are already established.

How much do these differ from woman to woman?

The signs that a woman will feel will depend on several factors including the position of the baby, whether or not you’ve had a baby before and your general well being. If the baby is in a ‘back to back’ also known as sunnyside up position, you may feel most of the contractions in your back. If you have laboured before with a previous birth, you may find that the contractions intensify quicker. Some women will notice losing their mucous plug and some wont. It varies pretty much from woman to woman.

What’s normal? What signs should cause concern?

If you are experiencing regular contractions that are slowly intensifying and getting closer together this is a good sign as it means that you are stepping closer to meeting your baby! There are some  situations however  in which you should inform your care provider immediately:

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