Early Signs of Labor that Mean Your Body Is Getting Ready: The baby drops. You feel the urge to nest. No more weight gain. Your cervix dilates. Fatigue. Worsening back pain. Diarrhea. Loose joints and increased clumsiness.
Labor: Six Signs You ‘ll Soon Be There Lightening: You can breathe easy again. Effacement: Your cervix ripens. Dilation: Your cervix opens. Bloody Show: Your mucus plug dislodges. Rupture of membranes: Your water breaks. Consistent contractions: When your labor really gets going.
Researchers believe that the most important trigger of labor is a surge of hormones released by the fetus. In response to this hormone surge, the muscles in the mother’s uterus change to allow her cervix (at the lower end of her uterus) to open.
The cervix must be 100 percent effaced and 10 centimeters dilated before a vaginal delivery. The first stage of labor and birth occurs when you begin to feel regular contractions, which cause the cervix to open (dilate) and soften, shorten and thin (effacement).
As the countdown to birth begins, some signs that labor is 24 to 48 hours away can include low back pain, weight loss, diarrhea — and of course, your water breaking.
There’s a good chance you will go into labor not long after it happens. But you can still be in labor even if your water hasn’t broken. Sometimes your doctor will have to break it for you using a little plastic hook. This helps speed up or induce your labor.
You are more likely to go into labor at night. Whatever the true evolutionary reason, our modern bodies continue to maintain a nocturnal birth rhythm. Contractions tend to peak in intensity between 8:30 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., and labor itself most often begins between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
At this point, your cervix will be dilated 3-10 centimeters. ( Dilating 1 cm/hr is textbook, but like in early labor, it’s different for every woman.) If you ‘re opting for an epidural, the time is…now!
As pregnancy progresses, the accuracy of an ultrasound for predicting due dates decreases. Between 18 and 28 weeks of gestation, the margin of error increases to plus or minus two weeks. After 28 weeks, the ultrasound may be off by three weeks or more in predicting a due date.
Natural ways to induce labor Get moving. Movement may help start labor. Have sex. Sex is often recommended for getting labor started. Try to relax. Eat something spicy. Down a little castor oil. Schedule an acupuncture session. Ask your doctor to strip your membranes. Go herbal.
Gentle squats have been known to help induce labour. The up and down movement helps get the baby into a better position and helps to stimulate dilation. It is important to make sure that the squats are not too deep, as to not cause injury.
Walking earlier in labor or during active labor is a proven way to keep your labor moving along. Of course, you’ll need to stop along the way for contractions. Squats open the pelvis and can encourage baby to put added pressure on the cervix, which helps with dilation.
The hardest work occurs in this final phase of the first stage of labor, when your cervix fully dilates to 10 cm. This phase can last from 30 minutes to two hours.
Try a Birthing Ball: Rocking, bouncing, and rotating your hips on a birthing ball also opens the pelvis, and it may speed up cervical dilation. Walk Around: Don’t underestimate the power of gravity! When walking, your baby will press against the cervix, which might help it efface and dilate.
As your cervix dilates during pregnancy, a mucus plug forms to seal the opening. In the third trimester, your cervix may dilate up to 3 cm, and the mucus plug could be released in one piece or as a thick discharge. You might not see this until right before your water breaks.