After becoming pregnant, labor is the next event that a woman eagerly awaits. There is also an apprehension among many women that they may fail to notice the initial signs or symptoms of labor and in the process may not be adequately ready for childbirth to occur. However, there is no reason to fear, as your body will display early signs that labor is fast approaching.

What causes labor symptoms?
When your baby is ready to be born, certain hormonal changes in the Fetus cause the Placenta to release a substance known as corticotropin-releasing Hormone. The Uterus is usually in a very relaxed state before the release of corticotropin-releasing hormones. But once it is released, it causes certain changes in your hormonal levels and your Cervix (the narrow outer end of the uterus) begins to soften and become thinner. When this happens, you begin to get contractions indicating the beginning of labor.

Signs and symptoms of labor

Lightening or dropping

When your baby is ready to be born, he/she will descend down or drop and settle lower into your pelvis, which will cause your abdomen to bulge at a lower position than it was earlier. This is called lightening or dropping. This reduces the pressure in your upper abdomen, relaxes your lungs and gives you more room to breathe much easily than before. You will also feel an urge to urinate more frequently.

Bloody discharge

Another sign that labor is approaching is when small capillaries in the thinning cervix, rupture discharging a pink or brown vaginal fluid. If there is excessive discharge or it is bright red in color, it could mean a problem with the Placenta. Under such cases, inform your doctor immediately.

Increased energy or nesting instinct

You may suddenly feel extra energetic a few days before labor approaches. This is nature’s way of physically preparing you for the arrival of your baby.

Sickness and vomiting

When labor approaches, you may feel an increased urge to vomit. Besides this, you may also experience stomach disturbances like diarrhoea and cramps.

Increased contractions

You may have experienced contractions during your period of pregnancy. Contractions (uterine muscle spasms) occurring at intervals of less than 10 min are usually a warning that labor has begun. These contractions become more repeated, severe and painful as labor progresses.

Rupture of amniotic sac membranes (bag of water)

The amniotic sac or bag of water as it is commonly referred to, is a thin, tough, membranous sac that encloses the growing baby. When a woman is approaching labor, fluid from this sac, known as Amniotic Fluid starts flowing out of the Vagina. When this happens, contact your doctor.

False labor
Your labor pain may sometimes turn out to be a false alarm. There is no need to be embarrassed if you rush to the hospital only to find that your labor pain was not real, since it is not always easy to determine labor pain accurately.

Stages of labor
Although each labor is different and unique in its own way, labor is generally divided into three main stages, with the first stage, (latent stage) subdivided into three phases.
Signs of false labor
Pain and contraction reduces with walking.
Irregular contractions.
Pain decreases with a change of position.
Contractions do not increase in frequency or severity.
Discomfort is felt in the abdomen only.

Stage 1

This stage is called the latent phase. You will experience frequent contractions at an interval of 5–20 min each. The cervix, which is the narrow outer end of the uterus, opens about 3–4 cm and becomes thinner.

The second part of the latent phase is called the active phase. Your Cervix expands further to about 4–7 cm, contractions become longer, more intense and frequent. Contractions occur at an interval of 3–4 min each.

The third part of the latent phase is called the transition phase. Your Cervix expands up to 10 cm. This is a time when contractions become very severe and frequent and you will feel like pushing out your baby during this phase.

Stage 2

During the second stage of labor, your Cervix opens fully and your baby is delivered. This is also known as the ‘pushing’ stage, as this is the phase when you will be intensely involved in the act of pushing out your baby through the Birth Canal.

Stage 3

This is the final stage of labor when the placenta, the organ that nourishes the baby when it is in the uterus, is expelled through the

Click here to view the animation on normal delivery

Cesarean section
The natural way for a baby to be delivered is through the mother’s Vagina. But sometimes vaginal birth is not possible or can be a threat either to the mother’s or baby’s life. Cesarean section or c-section as its commonly known is the procedure by which a baby is surgically delivered by making an incision or surgical opening on the mother’s abdomen and Uterus.

Cesarean operations are usually considered as the last option when doctors feel either the mother or the baby’s life is at risk before or during delivery. Cesarean section has an overall success rate and is quite safe for both mother and baby.
Know About Pregnancy
Healthy Pregnancy
Fertility basics
Planning for pregnancy
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Pregnancy health
Eating For Two
Your growing baby
Exercise in pregnancy
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Pregnancy Weight Gain
Sex During Pregnancy
Travel During Pregnancy
Stress in pregnancy
High Blood Pressure
Diabetes In Pregnancy
New mother care
Healthy Breast Feeding
Postpartum depression
Stretch marks
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Birth Control choices
A Pill In Time
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