Am I in Labor?

How will you know you’re in labor?  Much like life, labor isn’t usually what it looks like in the movies.  You already have plenty on you mind, and now you have to wait around, often beginning a whole two weeks before your due date, wondering, “Am I in labor??”

Here are things that may happen leading up to you going into labor:

  • Dilation (opening of the cervix)
  • Effacement (ripening of the cervix)
  • Bloody show (loss of mucous plug)
  • Nesting (suddenly wanting to paint the nursery)
  • You water breaks (rupture of membranes)
  • Contractions

In the movies, a woman will be walking through a department store, when suddenly a gallon of water falls from somewhere up her skirt, and onto the floor.  This is certainly not common.  For most of us boring folk, we first noticed we were in labor when we had contractions.  The confusing thing is, though, that you’ve probably been having contractions on and off for a while, so how do you know this is it?  Here are questions you can ask yourself:

  • Are the contractions regular?
  • Do they start to last longer, get stronger and closer together?
  • Does walking make them stronger?
  • Do they continue, despite moving or changing positions?
  • Did they start in the lower back and move to the front of your abdomen?

If you answered yes, then you’re in labor, friend.  If you answered no, then go take a walk through a department store and see if you can make a splash.

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