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Every pregnancy woman have different kind of sign for labor. Each person di unique, but there are some typical signs and symptoms that will be happen to pregnancy woman for expect as the due date approaches.

Lightening: Relieving the pressure

Near the end of your pregnancy, you may feel the baby settling deeper into your pelvis. This is called lightening.

The baby's new position may give your lungs more room to expand, making it easier to breathe. On the flip side, increased pressure on your bladder may send you to the bathroom more often.

For a first pregnancy, lightening may occur weeks or days before labor begins. For subsequent pregnancies, it may not happen ahead of time. For some women, the changes are obvious. Others may not notice a thing.

Effacement: Ripening of the cervix

Your cervix prepares for birth by softening and thinning, or effacing. You won't feel this happening. Instead, your doctor will check for signs of cervical change with vaginal exams.

Effacement is often expressed in percentages. When you're 50 percent effaced, your cervix is half its original thickness. Your cervix must be 100 percent effaced, or completely thinned out, before a vaginal delivery.

Dilation: Opening of the cervix

Your cervix will also begin to open, or dilate. Your doctor will measure the dilation in centimeters from zero to 10.

At first, progress may be very slow. In fact, some women are dilated 2 to 3 centimeters for days or even weeks before labor actually begins. Once you're in active labor, you'll begin to dilate more quickly.

Bloody show: Loss of mucus plug

During pregnancy, a thick plug of mucus blocks the cervical opening to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. When your cervix begins to thin and open, this plug may be discharged. You may notice stringy mucus or a thick discharge. It's typically brown and sometimes tinged with blood.

Losing the mucus plug is a sign that labor may begin soon, but it's not a guarantee. Labor may still be a week or more away.

Nesting: Spurt of energy

You might wake up one morning feeling energetic, raring to attack dust bunnies under the couch, set up the crib and arrange your baby's outfits according to color. This urge to clean and organize is commonly known as nesting. No one knows for sure, but it may be a primal instinct that hearkens back to a time when physical preparation was necessary for a safer childbirth.

Nesting may begin months before your due date, but the instinct is actually strongest just before delivery. Do what you must, but don't wear yourself out. Save your energy for the harder work of labor ahead.
Rupture of membranes: Your water breaks

The amniotic sac is a fluid-filled membrane that cushions your baby in the uterus. Sometimes the sac leaks or breaks before labor begins. If this happens, you may notice a trickle of fluid or a more obvious gush.

If your water breaks at home — or if you're uncertain whether the fluid is amniotic fluid, urine or something else — consult your doctor right away. He or she will evaluate you and your baby to determine the next steps.

If the amniotic sac is no longer intact, timing becomes important. The longer the membranes are ruptured, the greater the risk of developing infection. If labor doesn't begin on its own, your doctor may need to induce your labor.

In the meantime, don't do anything that could introduce bacteria into your vagina. Sex is not a good idea.

Contractions: When labor pains begin

During the last few months of pregnancy, you may experience occasional, painless contractions — a sensation that your uterus is tightening and relaxing. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions. They're your body's way of warming up for labor.

As your due date approaches, Braxton Hicks contractions may become stronger or even painful.

Eventually, Braxton Hicks contractions will be replaced by the real thing. To tell the difference, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the contractions regular? Time your contractions from the beginning of one to the beginning of the next. Look for a regular pattern of contractions that get stronger and closer together. Contractions that come at least every five minutes are likely to be the real thing. The contractions of false labor will remain irregular.
  • How long do they last? Measure the length of each contraction by timing when it begins and when it ends. True contractions last more than 30 seconds at first and get progressively longer — up to 75 seconds — and stronger. With false labor, contractions vary in length and intensity.
  • Can you stop the contractions? True contractions continue regardless of your activity level or position. In fact, they often grow stronger with increased activity, such as walking. With false labor, you may be able to stop the contractions by changing your activity or position, lying down or even taking a walk.
  • Where do you feel the contractions? The pain of true contractions tends to begin high in the abdomen, radiating throughout the abdomen and lower back. With false labor, the contractions are often concentrated in the lower abdomen.

Expect false alarms

The boundary between your body's preparation for labor and the actual process of labor is not always clear. Some women have painful contractions for days with no cervical changes. Others feel only a little pressure or a backache as the cervix gradually dilates.

Don't hesitate to call your doctor if you wonder whether you're in labor. Preterm labor can be especially sneaky. If you have any signs or symptoms of labor before 36 weeks — especially if they're accompanied by vaginal spotting — see your doctor for an exam.

At term, labor will nearly always make itself apparent. If you arrive at the hospital in false labor, don't feel embarrassed or frustrated, many woman done for this. You can think this situation as a practice run. The real thing is sure to be on its way, and not so long again to wait. (By MayoClinic.com - BABY.TopResource.NET Reference)


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