Contrary to every Hollywood movie and TV sitcom ever made, going into labour rarely starts with a timely gush of water all over your Manolos, in the supermarket, while you’re wearing your finest pair of undies. You also won’t be delivering bub three minutes later. There is rarely a delivery made in your nearest elevator (rarely, but not never) and your baby will not come outas clean as and the size of a three-month-old (hopefully). Usually clichés are clichés for a reason, but in the case of childbirth, ‘Hollywood’ has it wrong, and many of us mums can be taken by surprise by the reality of labour and delivery. So whatarethe early signs of labour? Let me set the record straight…
As it happens, yourwaters breaking are generally considered one of the later signs of labour (but if theydo break – likely to be more of a trickle than a gush – contact your medical team for advice!). The REALLY early signs of labour start with some pretty mild stuff. Backache that comes and goes is really common as the baby descends and your body is preparing for labour. Your contractions (that feel pretty much like period cramps for now) which you may have been experiencing for a while now (Braxton Hicks) may start to regulate a bit more. And gross, but true, you’ll probably have more frequent bowel movements as your body begins the big clearout of anything south of your ribcage (better in the privacy of your own home than in the delivery room, right?!). On the plus side, empty bowels tend to mean good uterine contractions, so there’s that…
Body: There’s no sugar coating it, any way you phrase these signs doesn’t make them sound any prettier. If you can get past the ick factor, it’s actually pretty cool to know that all this time there’s been a ‘giant’ plug in your cervix keeping bub protected from harmful germs and the outside world more generally. Your mucous plug can come out clear, or yellow or brown (basically like what happens when you blow your nose into a tissue – same stuff… very sexy…). Sometimes it’s accompanied by pinkish discharge known as your bloody show. These are pretty reliable early signs of labour, so keep a close eye out, and if you have any concerns, contact your medical team – after all, it’s better to know than to hope, right?
Include googling ‘early signs of labour’ and sneezing and a little wee coming out (nope, not your waters, you’re ‘just that pregnant’)
Happy labouring mama… you got this!!
~ Sinem xo
If you’re needing some comfy yet supportive clothes to get you through pregnancy, labour and beyond, why nothead to the Maze Activewear shop?!