Is your baby on their way??
Sometimes it can be tricky to know if you’re in labor or not, especially if it’s your first baby. It’s common to have warm-up labor with stretches of regular contractions as you get closer to your due date. There are things you can watch for to help identify real labor at the right time.
You’re looking for contractions that 5 minutes apart or closer, steadily increasing over an hour, and are intense enough that you can’t talk through them. They should cause you to stop what you’re doing and breathe. If you can talk through them, that’s fine! It’s just probably not the time for you to be admitted to Labor and Delivery.
Learning the signs of what labor looks like can be helpful for you during your pregnancy and be helpful for you to feel prepared for your baby’s birth. These signs can start as early as one month before your expected due date. Most pregnancies last forty weeks, but pre-labor signs can begin between thirty-seven to forty-two weeks. Some labors can begin early and there is no proven way to tell just exactly when these symptoms will start or when labor will begin. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact your doctor or the doctor that is on call during your time of concern. Having concerns about what or questions about what signs you or may or may not be going through is natural.
Please don’t feel bad about coming to Labor and Delivery at the wrong time.
Even if it looks and feels like what is described, sometimes it’s still a false alarm. This is so common!
Luckily, if you’re having these painful consistent contractions, chances are your baby will be here soon!
Photograph by Elizabeth Ashdown
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