The signs of labour may sound pretty unmissable but there’s so much going on in your body during pregnancy that it can be a confusing time of false starts and mystery pains. To help differentiate the everyday twinges from the real deal, we’ve compiled a list of the signs to watch out for, some are obvious and some less well-known.
1. Spontaneous Rupture of Membranes
In the movies this is referred to as the ‘waters breaking’ and Hollywood would have you believe that this is what happens to 100% of women. In reality, it’s only around 15% of women who experience this and claim that it’s far from the gush in the supermarket aisle that we’ve come to expect, it’s more of a slow trickle. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen for you, doctors can artificially rupture the membrane when you reach hospital.
2. More back pain?
Before contractions you may start to feel back pain rhythmically which means that your baby is moving into a different position and placing pressure on your spine. Some natural ways to relieve discomfort from back pain and contractions is to practice slow, rhythmic breathing and gentle massaging at the points of pain.
3. Contractions come knocking
Probably the most common signs of labour are the contractions. When they’re spaced 3-5 minutes apart, this is a strong sign that it’s go time. Early contractions will feel like strong period pains which build in intensity as they get closer together.
4. Bathroom Break
Another sign that you may be in labour is that you have a sudden urge to use the bathroom. But you’ve needed to use the bathroom non-stop in the past 9 months I hear you say? This urge will be a little more intense as the baby’s head is dropping and beginning to put pressure on your bladder.
5. Loosen up
Throughout pregnancy the body cleverly releases a hormone known as Relaxin which helps to loosen the joints of your body to make it easier to give birth. It may also be the reason you’ve been feeling a little clumsier. Explains a lot.