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3 Signs That You Are In Labor

Being pregnant is a miraculous experience, but it can also be very uncomfortable and long. Many women look forward to the time when they will hold their child, and anxiously await labor. If you are at the end of your pregnancy, you might be wondering how you will know you are in labor. Here are a couple signs that either labor is coming, or that you need to go to the doctor.

1. Loss Of Your Mucous Plug

Towards the final days of your pregnancy you will lose your mucous plug. The mucous plug is a plug of mucous that is around the cervix. As the cervix becomes more ripened and flexible, the mucous plug will fall out. This is a sign that labor is coming. It may mean that you will go into labor that same day, or it could mean you have another week. The important thing to realize is that when you notice this plug is lost, you should start preparing for labor.

2. Cramping In The Back and Lower Stomach

Many women feel aches and pains throughout their entire pregnancy, so telling them that they will have pain in their stomach or back during labor is unhelpful. However, you should be on the lookout for cramping, much like menstrual cramps, that indicate that labor is progressing. Many women say that it feels like they are on their period when they go into labor. For many, the pain starts as simple cramping. In addition, the pain will come in waves. It is not a constant dull pain. It will come on slightly, get worse, and then slowly go away. This will be followed by moments of no pain. This is what a contraction feels like. If you have a constant belly ache, or pain in the back, you probably are just feeling the weight of the baby, not having contractions.

3. Nausea 

As labor beings you might feel a variety of sensations. For some, they actually become sick to their stomach. They may feel like they are going to vomit, have diarrhea, or get a horrible headache. These sorts of sensations may come before the contractions start, or even during the contractions.

If you are wondering if you should go to the hospital, you might want to wait until the contractions become constant and painful. If not, it could be false labor and you will just be sent home. This is unless you have been directed by your doctor to do otherwise. If you're looking for an OB/GYN in your area, visit Florham Park OB/GYN Dr. Donald Chervenak MD.