This is your first pregnancy and you’ve never experienced labor and birth before. I know you’re thinking!
How Will I Know If I’m In Labor? What Are The Sign Of Early Labor?
- Before the signs of early labor begins, your body is getting ready. There are a lot of hormonal changes going on inside your body. You start making less progesterone, the hormone that is essential in cultivation and development of your pregnancy and the nurturing and growth of your “womb mate”. This is a sign your pregnancy is coming to its grand finale and labor will be starting soon!
- Your body starts making more prostaglandins that help to ripen and soften your cervix. This hormone also makes your uterus a little more sensitive. Your uterus reacts by having contractions. You may have been having Braxton Hicks contractions. Some people feel them and others do not. This time those small contractions start to feel like menstrual cramps that come and go, or pressure low in the pelvis, or maybe even some low back pain. These are signs of early labor.
- If this is your first baby, you may lose your mucous plug, which is also known as “Bloody Show”. If you see something that looks a bit alien-like in your undies, that’s probably your mucous plug! It looks like stringy, brownish bloody, or pinkish boogers. Yep! It’s a bit YUCKY! If this isn’t your first baby, this is a sign that labor is beginning.
- In early labor you begin to have contractions that come regularly. In other words you can begin to predict when the next one will be coming. Just keep track of the first 4-5 to see how far apart they are.
- Your early labor contractions will also begin to last longer, and longer, and they will start to come more frequently as early labor progresses.
What’s The Best Thing To Do If I Think This is Labor? Ignore It!
- Whatever you do, don’t rush off to your hospital or the birth center! Unless your doctor or midwife gave you specific instructions on when to go, the best place for you and your baby is at home or in a place where you can relax, eat, take a nap, and feel emotionally and physically comfortable.
- Whatever time of the day or night it is when your labor starts, do what you would normally do. Most moms and babies are safer at home in early labor.
- Do any one or all of these five things if you think you are in labor:
Eat and drink something. Take a walk. Take a nap or go to sleep if it’s nighttime. Take a long warm bath or shower.
Do not go to the hospital or birth center if:
- You can carry on a conversation.
- You can laugh at a joke.
- You’re still feeling excited and can talk on the phone to friends or family.
- You can still post to Facebook or Instagram.
- You can smile.
- You don’t want to eat because you’re too excited. (EAT!)
- It’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep because you’re happy your baby is on the way.
- You think labor will go faster if you go to the hospital or birth center. (It Won’t!)
Stay Home In Early Labor As Long As You Can And
Longer Than You Want To
How Will I Know When To Leave For The Hospital Or Birth Center?
Check out this blog post: Use the Active Labor Formula and you’ll arrive at just the right time.