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Recognizing The Signs Of Labor: What To Expect Before It Begins

Recognizing the Signs of Labor: What to Expect Before It Begins

Labor is the process of giving birth to a baby. It is a complex and challenging process, but it is also an incredibly rewarding one. If you are pregnant, it is important to be aware of the signs of labor so that you can be prepared for what to expect.

The Three Stages of Labor

Labor is divided into three stages:

  • The first stage begins with the onset of regular contractions and ends with the full dilation of the cervix. This stage can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.
  • The second stage begins with the full dilation of the cervix and ends with the birth of the baby. This stage can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
  • The third stage begins with the birth of the baby and ends with the delivery of the placenta. This stage usually lasts only a few minutes.

The Signs of Labor

The signs of labor can vary from woman to woman, but there are some common signs that you should be aware of. These include:

  • Regular contractions: Contractions are the tightening of the muscles in your uterus. They are usually felt in the lower abdomen and back. As labor progresses, contractions will become more frequent, stronger, and longer.
  • Water breaking: Your water breaking is the release of amniotic fluid from your uterus. This can happen at any time during labor, but it usually happens during the first stage.
  • Bloody show: Bloody show is a discharge of mucus and blood from your vagina. This is a sign that your cervix is beginning to dilate.
  • Backache: Backache is a common sign of labor. It is caused by the pressure of the baby’s head on your spine.
  • Pelvic pressure: Pelvic pressure is a feeling of fullness or pressure in your pelvis. This is caused by the baby’s head descending into your pelvis.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common signs of labor. They are caused by the hormonal changes that occur during labor.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a common sign of labor. It is caused by the increased levels of prostaglandins in your body.

When to Call Your Doctor

If you are experiencing any of the signs of labor, it is important to call your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess your progress and determine if you are in labor.

What to Expect at the Hospital

When you arrive at the hospital, you will be admitted to the labor and delivery unit. A nurse will monitor your contractions and check your progress. You may also be given an epidural to help relieve pain.

Once you are fully dilated, you will be moved to the delivery room. The doctor will help you deliver your baby. After the baby is born, you will be taken to the recovery room.

Recovery from Labor

After labor, you will need time to recover. You may experience some pain and discomfort, but this will gradually improve over time. You will also need to take care of your newborn baby.


Labor is a challenging but rewarding experience. By being aware of the signs of labor, you can be prepared for what to expect. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor.

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