Am I In Labour? How Will I Know When I Am In Labour?
It is said that labour pains are reportedly so unique that an expectant mother will know within minutes when she is ready for delivering her baby. Yet, some women have such a high threshold of pain that they often deal with the discomfort until they are well into active labour. This is one reason why your doctor will educate you on identifying when you are in labour and need to head to the hospital.In your third trimester, as you near your delivery date, rush to the doctor if you experience any, or all, of the following:
- Pain in the lower back or thigh
- Painful cramps in the lower abdomen
- Spotting or discharge of blood
- Discharge of the amniotic fluid either as a steady leakage or in a gush
- Contractions at regular intervals with increasing frequency. During active labour, the time gap between each contraction reduces and the pain intensifies.
During the visit, your doctor will physically examine you and see if your cervix has dilated sufficiently to signify active labour. Sometimes, women might experience false labour symptoms, which is very common. Do not feel embarrassed if your doctor identifies your symptoms to be those of false labour; it is a common enough phenomenon. When it comes to birthing, it is better to err on the side of caution.After examining the patient, if the doctor feels that the labour is still hours or days away, you will be sent home. Your doctor might ask you to visit the hospital every couple of days for a checkup and to determine if you are on the onset of labour.Calling the DoctorWhenever you have the slightest hint that you might be in labour, do not hesitate to give your doctor a call. They are trained professionals and are used to answering women who might not be sure whether or not they are in labour.However, when should you call your doctor? In case you experience any of the following, immediately pick up the phone and discuss it with your doctor:
- You feel a persistent moistness and suspect that it is the leakage of amniotic fluid
- Your baby has not made at least 10 movements in 24 hours
- You have constant pain in the abdomen and lower back
- You start bleeding heavily
In case your doctor feels you are in labour, you need to rush to the hospital immediately.It helps if you plan for the delivery protocol with your family in advance and keep a bag of essentials ready. It will avoid any confusion while you need to be taken to the hospital. Ensure you have a close family member or friend with you throughout delivery, as their presence can help. And once you are in labour, just relax and let your body and your doctor take over.
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