By Dr Rita Bakshi
There are several signals that the body starts giving even weeks or days before the baby is all set to arrive, but this varies from person to person. A woman’s body starts preparing before even the real challenge begins. Every cramp usually makes them feel that this is probably it and their labour pains have begun, but that might not be the case.
These following signs indicate that the expecting mother is finally going into the labour:
One of the very common indications that the mother is going into the labour is intensive and amplified pain in her back. If the baby is placed in an unusual position in your uterus then the contractions might be acute, resulting in a throbbing backache. The pain usually takes place in the lower back, accompanied by loosening of joints, mainly in the pelvic area.
It is often advised to rush to the hospital as soon as the water bag bursts. When the fluid-filled amniotic sac surrounding your baby breaks, the fluid starts to leak from the vagina. It generally comes out in a heavy flow or even in the form of a light dribble. This is an indication that it’s the time to rush to the doctor. This amniotic fluid should be colourless and odourless and is generally confused with urine.
Variation in vaginal discharge
As soon as labour begins, the expecting mother may experience a greater vaginal discharge, which is generally pink, brown or slightly reddish in colour. This discharge is triggered by the release of a mucous plug that blocks the cervix during pregnancy. The mucous plug slackens up as the cervix instigates it to open up during the first stage of labour.
Diarrhea and vomiting
The rectum generally starts to loosen up as soon as labour begins to approach. Several women often experience severe loose stool and vomiting, with labour approaching. Some women experience nausea and vomiting when the baby is about to arrive.
The baby starts dropping; an increased urge to urinate
One of the most common signs yet identifiable that labour is about to begin is the dropping of the baby into the pelvis. The belly sits lower and appears heavier and rounder than before. Due to greater pressure on the lower abdomen, the surrounding area to your pelvis increases the occurrence and frequency of urination.
It is very important for the expecting mother to identify signals that her body has been giving to ensure that she delivers her baby without any delays.
(The writer is Senior Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre.)