Signs of labor? — The Bump
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Signs of labor?

Hi Girls, as a FTM, I'm just curious as to what are some of the signs of labor coming? My dr doesn't check to see if I'm dilated, etc, until 38 weeks and I'm scared if I go into labor before that I don't even know what symptoms I'm looking for. TIA!
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Re: Signs of labor?

  • Everyone says this, but when real contractions start, you will know! I had BH contractions for a couple weeks that got consistent and uncomfortable, but not painful. Then one night a real one hit and I knew I was in labor. 
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  • Trust me you will know Smile I had absolutely zero signs of labor till my first water did not break, I did not lose my mucus plug, etc. I was trying to go to sleep with the first one hit. It felt different and they began timeable right away (every 1-5 minutes consistently). I also started spotting pink so I knew that was it.
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  • I was in pre labor for days, getting cramp like contractions throughout the day but not timeable. Finally, one night I noticed that I got them several times an hour, and they quickly.became very.timeqble and more intense. For me, my back hurt first before my front. i ended up having back labor, and it was hours later before I felt the actual contractions in my front.
  • Oh you will definitely know when you're in labor.  For me, my water broke at home but I didn't have contractions for about an hour... When the first contraction hit though, it was insane!  I thought that labor would just be more intense braxton hicks but this felt like extremely bad period cramps and felt like I needed to poo.

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  • Cervical checks are not a reliable sign of labour- you can go from 0 - 10 in hours or be 3 or 4 centimeters dilated for weeks. I know so many women who were told they would be going into labour immediately because of their dilation but sat around still pregnant for ages- and vice versa. I wasn't even offered any cervical checks for either pregnancy because the dr/midwife didn't feel they were beneficial, and I even went 10 days late with DS1.

    Possible signs of coming labour include losing your mucus plug, loose bowel movements, sore breasts, an increase in BH contractions, spotting/"bloody show," decrease in fetal movement, and the baby "dropping" low into your pelvis, so that you feel like there's a bowling ball between your legs when you walk. However, plenty women don't experience any of those before labour, and probably just as many start to experience those a month or more before labour starts.

    Bottom line, though- you will know. Unless you happen to have a very fast labour (which isn't common for a first time mom), I can't imagine you will end up birthing your baby in your bathroom because you weren't sure you were in labour. If you aren't sure, you either aren't in labour, or it's too early to worry about going to the hospital.

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  • The only sign I had was my water breaking, I was 37+2 and had no contractions and was not dilated at all. And when I did get contractions I got them in my hips, it felt as if they were stretching open, I had no contractions in my back nor my stomach. But when you get those labor ones you will def know!
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  • I have to say I was one of those women who was in labor and didn't know. My contractions felt just like braxton hicks to me and I worked the entire day (teaching high schoolers). I was lucky I happened to have a scheduled dr's appt because they were the ones who told me I was having contractions every 3 - 4 minutes. But I'm probably the exception not the rule.
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  •  I had zero signs until my water broke.  I was so sure I was going to be one of those ladies who had to be induced at 42 weeks.  In fact, the night before I had my son, I put money on 2 weeks past my due date.   He came a week early, my water broke and he was born 12 hours later.  I walked 2-4 miles every day up until the day before he was born.  No contractions, no mucus plug and I wasn't dilated at all until I was 3 hours into labour, then it went fast after that. 
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  • With DS I had cramping for a couple days and lost my mucus plug. I had sporadic contractions, then my water broke and they started coming every 10 minutes or so until they got closer together. With this one, I had some cramps (which I mistook for a stomach ache from the lunch we ate out, lol), my water broke just before 11 pm, the contractions came full force, and she was born at 12:23 a.m. just about 15 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. So sometimes there's really not much warning! lol
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  • Everyone is different!! I was 1 cm dilated at 34 weeks and 3 cm by 36 weeks, at 37 week I was having painful contractions but they were never consistant enough to head to the hospital. They came every 35 - 50 minutes. I am so glad my water broke at 38 weeks!!!
  • I have to say I was a bit different.  I went to the doctor at 39 weeks  and was told that I was 5cm and having contractions.  I really didn't know!  I had been having BH contractions since 15 weeks so I just thought what I was feeling was more of the same.  Nothing severe or painful at all!!! Needless-to-say I was in labor and my DS was born shortly afterwards.

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