Towards the end of pregnancy, anticipation is at its peak and expectant mothers are on the lookout for any sign of the delivery day.
For the first-timers, here are seven signs of labour.
As your pregnancy draws to an end, when your hormones once again begin to flow in preparation for delivery, it can cause an onset of diarrhea.
This is as a result of the increase in prostaglandin, which can relax the bowels in order to flush the system.
Having excess waste in the body will make it more difficult (and potentially dangerous) to deliver the baby, so the body does its best to clean out the system.
Diarrhea may happen up to a week before labour or it can be an immediate precursor to contractions and delivery. Sometimes even happening during delivery.
This is when the mucus plug, which had previously been blocking the entrance to the cervix, detaches to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal.
This mucus plug has a sticky, gelatinous consistency. It can be white, yellowish or even tinged pink, and may be accompanied by blood when it discharges from the vagina.
This is usually an indication that the delivery is days away.
Hormonal fluctuation is a part of pregnancy from start to finish, but in the final few days before going into labour, the intensity of mood swings can reach a peak.
After nine months of carrying your child, the wait is finally ending, and this can often lead to some unpredictable moods.
Sleeping during pregnancy can be difficult for many women, but as you near your due date, you are far more likely to be unable to sleep.
This is because your body is preparing for delivery, your baby is more active and your stress levels are higher.
If you have the sensation of nausea in your third trimester, it may not be morning sickness.
There is often the sensation of nausea when the final flood of prostaglandin hits your system, indicating that labour is near.
This is when the amniotic sac breaks, spilling out the liquid and water that had previously been surrounding the baby.
This amniotic fluid could be anything from a leak to a sudden gush.
At this point, inform your doctor immediately and prepare for labour, as it is likely to begin very soon.
Contractions, the most well-known sign of labour, first appear as occasional backaches, separated by anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
The contractions will gradually become more frequent, regular and severe until delivery occurs.
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