Childbirth has several phases and it is very important to know and understand them since they will specify the stages you have gone through.
There are many warning signs that your body is preparing and labor is progressing, even if there is no pain or symptoms yet.
Although your due date remains a good benchmark from the start of your pregnancy, very few women give birth on exactly that day. From the 37th week of pregnancy, labor can start at any time. However, do not be afraid that everything will start in record time, it is not likely to happen, unless in exceptional cases or even if you are in your 4th or 5th pregnancy.
Since the 35th week of pregnancy, your visits to the doctor have now become weekly. This way, by examining the condition of your cervix, he can check at regular intervals whether labor has started. This way, you will know if the dilation and opening of your cervix have begun their work.
The first warning signs can begin at the 36th or 37th week. Here are a few:
- The Braxton contractions-Hicks called false contractions may appear.
- The significant increase in vaginal discharge also heralds changes to come. They become more abundant, thicken and begin to color. More brownish, they may even contain filaments of blood. Normally, they start a few days or hours before the onset of real labor, revealing that the protective plug of the cervix is about to give way and be expelled through the vagina. So stay calm and close to home or a place where you are good and comfortable. Avoid crowded public places or shopping malls.
Once the mucus plug has ruptured, the onset of labor can occur at any time. The pains then occur slowly, one after the other, and at an irregular rhythm. Be alert and time them. Wait until you have constant pain before calling the maternity ward of your hospital to announce your arrival. However, if the bag of waters breaks, you don't have to wait for the contractions, you should go right away.
If you don't have any pain yet, the next step after the loss of the protective plug is called the rupture of the bag of waters. By showing efforts towards the exit, baby pushes on this membrane which retains it and in which it bathes thus being able to break it at any time. The latter can drill anywhere, at home,in a public place or even after you arrive at the hospital when the contractions have set in on a regular basis. No childbirth happens the same way. However, all stages must occur to give birth to a child.
- The fluid that flows out, either in large quantities or in light continual oozes, following the breaking of the waters is generally tinged with brown or colored with blood.
- After the waters break, the contractions will occur regularly and over a short period of time and then intensify.
Contractions can also come on slowly. Usually, they can start in the kidneys or at the base of the back, like a dull pain that goes away and comes back. The first pains may resemble menstrual cramps, but much more intense. Subsequently, they spread to the back and/or stomach.