It is natural for a pregnant woman to be concerned about the commencement of her labor, as her due date approaches.But till date, there is no clear cut method to exactly predict when your labor will start.But there are some signs that you can watch out for as you near your due date, which will tell that you will be in labor soon.
As your due date approaches, your baby will lower and settle in your pelvis.This process termed as lightening, will cause a feeling of heaviness in your pelvis. As the baby drops, he will also exert an increased pressure on your nerves which will in turn cause leg cramps.
The pressure exerted on the ribcage will be lowered considerably and you will find breathing much easier. These signs are clear indications of the fact that your labor is nearing.
Your uterus will be resting on your bladder and as a result you will feel the need to urinate more frequently. The secretion of the hormone called prostaglandin increases during late pregnancy and this in turn will lead to the softening of your cervix. You will also experience a softening of your stools as you near the end of your pregnancy,
Passing of a mucous plug is a clear cut sign of impending labor. The dilation of your cervix leads to the discharge of the mucous plug, which had sealed your cervix throughout the whole period of pregnancy.
The discharge will be clear, pink or sometimes even bloody. You will also notice an increase in your vaginal discharge as your labor gets near.
You will experience Braxton and Hicks contractions with an increased frequency. Eventually these contractions will be replaced by actual labor pains.
The contractions will be painful and stronger and will follow a persistent pattern. Dull backache and pressure will also accompany the contractions. You will also notice that these contractions will linger on and won’t go away with you changing positions.
One of the very clear signs that you are approaching labor is the breaking of your water. The membrane which held the amniotic fluid will rupture and you will experience a gush of water through your vagina. In normal cases, delivery will happen within 24 hours after the water has broken.
If you experience any of these signs of labor, then you should consult your health care provider immediately.