Harbingers of childbirth.
Birth harbingers are signs by which a pregnant woman determines the approach of labor. Yet the majority of women are prompted by nature itself, sending in advance the news, the very forerunners indicating that the birth is about to begin.
The harbingers of childbirth usually include:
- lowering the bottom of the uterus (women say: «the belly dropped»),
- increased vaginal discharge (usually clear),
- stabilization or even weight loss for pregnant women,
- training bouts
- cervix ripening,
- discharge of mucus plug.
I must say that not every pregnant woman receives all these harbingers of childbirth. It happens that a woman begins to give birth, and in time, without waiting for any of the above signs of approaching childbirth. And yet we will consider each of them in more detail, in order to understand how our body can signal a meeting with a baby soon.
Harbingers of childbirth. Lowering the abdomen.
Lowering the bottom of the uterus usually occurs 10 to 20 days before the onset of labor, when the baby goes down closer to the entrance to the pelvis, and sometimes the head may even enter into it in a small segment. Surrounding people usually say to the woman: “Oh, you have your stomach lowered.” She feels it, because it becomes easier to breathe. In addition, future mothers say that in recent weeks they could eat very little at one meal, and now it has become possible to “eat properly”. This is understandable, the descending uterus stops squeezing the stomach and diaphragm, so it becomes easier to breathe and eat.
Harbingers of childbirth. Discharges before delivery
The secretion of a large amount of transparent mucus is due to the more active development of its glands, located in the mucous membrane of the cervical canal. The high activity of these glands is associated with changing hormones.
Harbingers of childbirth. Weight change pregnant.
In the last two to three weeks before childbirth, women who are weighed regularly will notice a stop in weight gain or even a decrease in weight. This is due to the fact that under the influence of a changing hormonal background, the excretion of water from the body is enhanced.
Harbingers of childbirth. Training fights.
Most pregnant women on the eve of childbirth feel the so-called training contractions. These are also harbingers of childbirth. But for some women, they happen in the last two or three days, while others can be felt for two to three weeks. This usually happens in the evening, before going to bed.
A pregnant woman has regular smacking sensations, localized in the lower abdomen or in the lower back, most often painless. How to distinguish training fights from the true ones, because most women will have the same feeling in the first hours of labor?
A truly objective assessment of the condition can only give a doctor or midwife as a result of vaginal examination. The fact is that training contractions usually do not lead to smoothing of the cervix, opening of the pharynx and formation of the fetal bladder (rounded protrusion of the membranes with amniotic fluid protruding from the open neck). As a result of true contractions at the beginning of labor, all these changes occur, which is revealed by vaginal examination.
A pregnant woman herself usually cannot track such changes in her body, so it is better for her to wait for a while.
Harbingers of childbirth. Mucus plug
Another precursor of childbirth is the discharge of mucus plug. This usually happens a day or two before the onset of labor, although sometimes it may take two or three weeks to secrete a cork outside.
The mucus plug is a very dense consistency mucus that during pregnancy fills the cervical canal and serves as one of the barriers preventing the penetration of any infection to the baby.
If you imagine the uterus in the form of a vessel turned upside down in a woman’s body, it is easy to imagine that the cervix is the neck itself, and the mucus plug is therefore called as tightly blocking the exit from the vessel. bottle.
On the eve of the birth, the cervix undergoes some changes — it becomes softer, more friable, due to this, the canal located in the center opens slightly, as a result of which the mucous plug begins to go outside. And then some women can find in their panties a cork that came out entirely (a lump of thick mucus, colored brown because of the blood cells present in it), or in the form of smudging (in case it goes off in parts). And some pregnant women won’t notice anything at all, because their mucus plug coming out of the cervical canal will remain in the vagina and come out, perhaps only in the second stage of labor with the birth of the baby.
The passage of mucus plug in my opinion is the most significant informative precursor of childbirth. Unlike all the others, it can be interpreted unequivocally — after the cork came out in the next 24 hours — the process of childbirth really begins. So those women who are lucky enough to see their mucus plug may well trust this signal.
Harbingers of childbirth. Cervical ripening
The last harbinger of childbirth — «maturation» of the cervix — is determined only by gynecological examination. If a woman is vaginally examined on the eve of childbirth (in nulliparous for one or two days, in repeated ones one or two weeks before the birth), then signs of maturity of the neck can be found: channel is missing a finger.
However, whether nature sends signals about imminent childbirth or leaves you in complete ignorance about the changes occurring in the body, this long-awaited moment will come. So what is the beginning of labor?
The onset of labor. How do childbirth begin?
Childbirth begins most often with contractions. Contractions, as I have already said, are pulling sensations that are of a regular nature. Most women feel these contractions in the lower abdomen. The pain that has appeared is similar to the pain during menstruation, but differs from the latter precisely in that it has a beginning, a certain duration and interruptions of complete painlessness.
Some women feel pain during contractions in the sacrum or lower back, and very rarely such pain is localized along the internal or external surfaces of the thighs. With such a localization of pain, a woman is confused and does not always recognize the beginning of labor. However, recurring after some time and increasing pain sooner or later will make it clear that this is no longer precursors, but the real birth and it’s time to go to the hospital.
The second option is the beginning of labor is premature rupture of the amniotic fluid. In this case, the woman, still not experiencing any contractions, will face the fact that fluid flows from her vagina. This can happen in a dream, and then she will wake up on a wet sheet, or under any other circumstances in the daytime.
The first thought of a woman unprepared for such a development of events is that, perhaps, she has incontinence, and she simply described herself. This is easy to check — you just need to smell and look at the color of the fluid flowing out.
Amniotic fluid, in other words, the amniotic fluid is clear, may be slightly pinkish, but never straw-yellow like urine. The smell is very specific, but again it is different from the smell we know from childhood.
So, you have determined that the amniotic fluid has poured out of you after all, which means that the birth has begun. In contrast to the version with contractions in this case, you need to hurry to the hospital. First of all, because with the discharge of water a dry period begins. Indeed, from the point of view of official medicine, it should not last more than 12 hours, and you may need some kind of stimulation.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that childbirth usually begins in the evening, at night, or early in the morning. It is associated with daily hormonal biorhythms.