Prenatal Tests

Throughout the later weeks of your pregnancy, you will receive a number of prenatal tests that will help to ensure the health of both you and your baby.

Your health care provider will measure your blood pressure and baby's heart rate at every visit. You will begin to visit your health care provider more and more throughout the third trimester, eventually attending prenatal appointments every week or so.

You will also undergo a few ultrasounds during late pregnancy, to help ensure that baby's growth and development are good, that your placenta is in the right position, and that baby has enough amniotic fluid.

Additional pregnancy tests may include:

Signs of Labour

During the late second and early third trimesters of pregnancy, it is important to learn to recognize the symptoms of labour. You may give birth at any time during the third trimester, so it is necessary to be able to recognize these symptoms.

Symptoms of labour include:

  • Lightening: Lightening occurs when your baby's head drops down into the pelvic region. You may find it easier to breathe or you may sense a heaviness in your lower abdomen.
  • Intense Braxton Hicks Contractions: As you near labour and delivery, you may notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions become more intense and regular.
  • Bloody Show: Women who are going to be giving birth soon often pass the mucous plug that blocks off the cervix during pregnancy.
  • Broken Waters: Some women experience the breaking of their amniotic sac just prior to labour and delivery. This can manifest as a slow trickle of fluid from the vagina or as a rush of water.

It can be difficult to recognize the difference between false labour and true labour. Keep in mind that real labor contractions won't diminish in strength or frequency. They will continue to lengthen and will occur at regular intervals.

If you are experiencing labour pains that don't go away, it is probably a good idea to contact your health care provider.

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