How to know when you’re experiencing labour?

How to know when you’re experiencing labour?

Am I in labour? The million-dollar question on every expecting Mom’s mind, and as a mom of two I remember feeling that there was nothing more frustrating than hearing wise words such as ‘Oh… you’ll know!’, to which I would answer, but how?… to be then told ‘you’ll just know!’. Maybe you will… however it might be nice to be a bit more prepared so that you can be turned into some early warning signs worth looking out for… so here at The Baby Academy we are only too happy to set you straight:

In the few days before labour gets started you might feel:

  • some niggly lower tummy cramps
  • mild diarrhoea or nausea
  • you might see a show
  • or you might have a sudden burst of energy (also known as nesting…this is when some women have been known to start painting walls, mowing the lawn and clearing out cupboards!)

As labour becomes more established you might notice that

  • those niggly cramps will change to more regular contractions… these will feel a wave-like in nature (so starting mild, reaching a peak and then reducing, with a nice little breather in between)
  • these ‘wave-like’ contractions will become more regular, and more coordinated as the day or indeed night carries on… eventually reaching a point where they are lasting 60ish seconds and coming every 5 minutes. And this ladies… is when you come to the hospital in labour!

Special Considerations

If while waiting for these contractions to become more regular, you notice any of the below scenarios our advice would be to attend your hospital’s assessment or emergency department for review:

  • Waters Breaking
  • Reduced fetal movements
  • Any vaginal bleeding
  • Any early or established labour signs before 37 weeks