Giving birth is a difficult, painful experience that marks the beginning of a new happy, exciting adventure, even more so for a mom who’s experiencing it for the first time. For parents expecting a first child, you may be unsure of what to expect when you’re close to labour.
Each labour experience is different for each woman. To start off, while pregnancies often last for 40 weeks, it can be difficult to determine the conception date, or start of pregnancy. To help you out, here some common signs of labour you can look out for, so you can prepare for birth.
Most pregnant mothers will experience backaches when nearing the due date, especially in the lower back. You may also experience abdominal cramps, similar to dysmenorrhea. This happens because when your child descends, his or her skull hits the spine, and put pressure on it.
Most pregnant mothers will experience contractions before delivery. These contractions can be described as a tightening of the stomach area. The contractions might also get more frequent and painful as you get closer to the due date.
Take note of your contractions; record the time in between each contraction, as this will help you identify actual labour contractions. Actual labour contractions will be at a consistent rate, and may be more painful, while Braxton-Hicks contractions can occur randomly and are less painful.
If your contractions are frequent and the time in between each contraction is short, give your healthcare professional a call and head to the hospital. Consistent contractions can speed up cervical dilation, or the opening of the cervix.
3. A bloody show
No, we’re not swearing. Seriously. Some women may experience a blood-streaked mucus discharge as they go through effacement, or cervical thinning. This sign of labour shows that your child is ready to move to the birthing canal. You might be on the brink of giving birth, or be a few days away from labour.
4. Water breaking
Many women will feel contractions before their water breaks. There is a large amount of clear fluid that discharges from your vagina. It shows that you’re ready for labour, and you should make arrangements to visit the hospital instantly.
5. Frequent visits to the loo
When your child is pushing against your pelvic bone, you may feel like your tummy is a little lighter in a week or two before birth. A pregnant mother will urinate more frequently and feel the tummy tightening with pressure from your child.
Contractions will gradually open the cervix and the cervix will become soft and thin. A healthcare professional will be able to identify changes in the cervix.
6. Less movements from your child
If you notice reduced movements from your child or feel anything you’re unsure about, you should head to the hospital. In general, there are about 40 weeks in between your last menstrual cycle and the due date.
To help you get all your nutritional needs, you can try Nestlé MOM. It is a specially formulated fortified milk enriched with 20 vitamins and minerals including folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. It also contains DHA (125mg per 100g) which is found abundantly in the brain. Plus, Nestlé MOM provides protein to support you and your child’s needs during pregnancy.
Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to make the best of those first 1,000 days of parenthood… TOGETHER.
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