Deciding when to go to the hospital for labor can be difficult—especially if you’re unaware that labor has begun. Identifying the shift from early to active labor will become increasingly important as your pregnancy nears its conclusion.
There are two stages of labor that you will encounter at home: early and active labor. The early stages are the longest, and this is when you’ll begin to feel contractions. A hospital visit is necessary as soon as you show indications of active labor (such as more muscular contractions).
At least an hour before you’re due, your contractions should be 5 minutes apart and last at least a minute.
The time it takes for labor to proceed to delivery might vary once your water breaks. However, if you cannot give birth within 24 hours, you risk being infected.
Once your water has broken, one of the most important considerations is how fast your labor is going and how healthy your pregnancy is. How rapidly your labor progress will also affect how long you have to reach the hospital safely.
This article will teach you the labor signs and when to go to the hospital. You’d also know the characteristics of each character and how to know when it comes.
1. Water gushing
Your amniotic sac, or your water breaking, is one of the most prominent indicators that labor has begun. This fluid-filled sac protects you and your baby, but it will burst either naturally or by your doctor in preparation for birth.
Typically, the amniotic sac ruptures because of the weight of your baby’s head on it.
Even if your water breaks naturally, you can simulate it by inserting a little plastic tube through your cervix into an amniotic sac.
Because the baby’s head is placing more pressure on the sac when your water breaks, this is the most likely cause.
Some women have a rush of water, while others do not. Whether you’re one of these women, you might not even be able to tell if your pants are wet if there’s only a little trickle.
2. Braxton-Hicks contractions
False labor symptoms can occur weeks or months before the start of labor. As your endometrial muscles prepare for birth, they become apparent. Even though these contractions are painful, they are usually less severe and last only a few seconds compared to contractions that occur during actual labor.
Instead of being mild and infrequent, real contractions are painful and last between ten and thirty seconds. It’s safe to assume labor to begin within the following 48 hours if you start having 5-minute contractions.
3. Cervical dilation
Your cervix will dilate or open up in preparation for your baby to emerge through the birth canal.
The cervix dilates slowly and steadily most of the time, but as labor progresses, this might change.
You may have your cervix measured at any moment during your pregnancy which helps your physician determine your current state.
Although you need to be 10 centimeters dilated to give birth, your cervix is just two to three millimeters open, which indicates that labor will begin in 24 to 48 hours at the very least.
4. Vaginal discharge
The mucus plug is a layer of mucus that covers your cervix. Even though it serves to keep infection out of your uterus, this plug tends to come undone just as labor is ready to begin.
It’s not unusual for a lady to find mucous on her underwear or wipes after using the bathroom.
The mucus can be clear, pink, or even include a speck of blood, so don’t be alarmed. Physicians refer to this as a “bloody show,” and it happens to everyone.
By eliminating the mucus plug, your body indicates that it is ready to give birth. The mucus plug can be lost days or even hours before labor begins.
Consult your doctor or midwife if you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy (37 weeks or more) and experiencing unexpected changes in your discharge (for example, it grows heavier) or are passing bright red blood.
In addition, nausea might serve as a signal that labor is imminent.
On the other hand, the digestive system demands a lot of energy. Because of a rise in prostaglandin levels during pregnancy, your digestive system remains empty until
Call your physician if you’re experiencing stomach discomfort and diarrhea because you may have a stomach virus. Visit your doctor immediately if you encounter these symptoms while pregnant or during delivery.
6. Loose joints
Relaxin, a hormone the fetus produces during pregnancy, has caused your ligaments to relax a little.
During your labor preparation process, you will find that your joints are less tense and more supple. It’s merely nature’s method of allowing your young one to enter the world through your pelvis.