How do you know your client is in labor? Figuring it out early might save the upholstery in your car!
Many couples looking for a house are doing so because they are adding a new pea to their pod. I, personally was even faxing documents to my broker from the hospital after baby #2.
So, today I want to talk about a few signs to watch for to see if you're in labor. And, if you're wanting more tips info, I even have a "when will I go into labor quiz" that is almost as good as a crystal ball.
Too bad there isn't a "when will I find my dream house" quiz.
Ok, here are a few signs of labor to watch out for:
- Losing your mucus plug: While this isn't a tell-tale sign, it IS a sign that your cervix is loosening up and getting ready for labor.
- Changes in your vaginal exam: It is unlikely you'll go into labor with a cervix that is closed, thick and high. But, if you're cervix is softening, opening and thinning out -- that is a sign that labor might be near.
- Stomach & Bowels: Sometimes your digestive tract wants to get in on the action of labor and will clear itself out before big labor hits. That might mean you have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea -- all of that is very normal.
- Water Breaking: Congrats! Once your water breaks, you're on a timeline for having your baby! Hopefully, you're past 37 weeks. Your baby has lived in a sterile environment up to this point. Now that your water is broken, the baby has all those germs all around them. That means they'll need to come out soon
- Changes in your discharge: Even if your water hasn't broken, you may have changes in discharge. It may be thinner, or more watery. Some of that has to do with the mucus plug, and some is just your body changing the blood flow to that area which changes the discharge. Fun, right?
- Feeling like your period is about to start: You might have some cramping and lower back pain. All of that is very normal. Cramps are actually just period contractions. Actual labor will progress from there.
So, how do you know if it's TRUE labor, or false labor? I recommend trying a few things:
Drink 2-3 LARGE glasses of water. Dehydration is the #1 cause of false labor, so STAY hydrated and your body will be happier (btw, a lot of people dehydrate because they think it will make them go into labor, but it really just makes you suffer instead of having your cervix open up!
Remember that PAIN and LABOR are two different things, even if they feel very similar!
Do they stop when you walk, or lay down? True labor will happen no matter WHAT you're doing -- and, even though everyone THINKS it will, walking does NOT put people into labor.
What is the TRUE sign of TRUE labor: Cervical change? That means that your cervix is either opening or thinning out. It doesn't matter if your mucus plug came out, you hurt like crazy or are puking your guts out -- if your cervix isn't changing -- you're not in labor!
So, those are the tips to knowing if you're in labor. It really is harder than you imagined in your head a long time ago. Even though I've been an L&D nurse since 2001, I am often left wondering -- "is THIS it? Should i go in?" It's really confusing -- much more than you ever thought it would be. I hope you find this post helpful to figure it out!