Giving birth to a child is a unique experience. Something that can never be the same even if you have delivered before. And though you may have thought of labour simply as the time when the baby finally comes into the world, it is in fact divided into various stages, each with its own special contribution to childbirth.
Signs of Labour
Labour and birth can happen in a matter of seconds or take hours to occur. The signs of labour are unique to everyone and if you are a little doubtful, it is best to contact your gynaecologist.
During labour, what may be happening inside your body is this:
- There is a mucous plug that seals the opening of the cervix during pregnancy. When your body starts getting ready for delivery, this plug comes out. In some women, it comes out as a single pinkish blob while in others it may be in small pieces. The time gap between the plug coming out and proper labour beginning may vary from a few weeks to days and hours.
- The amniotic sac, the fluid surrounding the baby, breaks and the water gushes or trickles out. This is a sure sign that you are in labour and should call your doctor immediately
The physical signs that you may experience during labor are:
- Period like cramps
- A blood like stain, which is due to the thinning of the cervix and the mucous plug, may drop out
- Water coming out as the membrane breaks
- Contractions (these can begin early but you'll know the time for delivery is near if the interval between each contraction is short and the contractions are strong)
Stages of Labour
The complete process of labour and delivery is divided into three stages. Read about each stage.