Being pregnant for the first time can be a period of uncertainty and doubt for any woman. With all the excitement and happy anticipation also comes a fear of the unknown. One common concern of a first-time mum is, “How do I know when I’m about to give birth? What if I give birth before the midwife arrives? Is there a way to know that my baby is about to come out?” Ease your mind and take note of these sure signs that your baby is definitely on its way.
Being very tired with your nesting instinct in full swing
Pregnancy usually alternates between bursts of energy and periods of not wanting to get out of bed. If you start to feel extra tired, but all you want to do is fix your baby nursery, then you know the end of your pregnancy is in sight! The nesting instinct kicks in when your baby is about to arrive, so take this as a sign that you’ll be giving birth soon.
Belly and lower back pain
An aching back and abdomen can also mean that labour is upon you. This pain is similar to what some women feel when they are on their period. The aches and pains you feel before labour are caused by your joints and bones starting to stretch to get ready for delivery.
A bloody show
This sounds like something straight from a horror movie, but all it means is that you have brownish or reddish mucus discharge. After the bloody show, most women go into labour within the next day or two. For some women, it could be hours after. The important thing to remember is that this is one of the sure signs that true labour is about to come. If and when this happens, it’s a good idea to inform your midwife so you can both be prepared for what’s coming next.
Strong and regular contractions
This is the definite sign that your baby is ready to come out soon. The nearer your due date, the more likely you’ll start feeling contractions. In some cases, pregnant mums may rush to the maternity ward, only to be sent home and informed that they were experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions or false contractions. These feel like mild menstrual cramps and don’t happen at regular intervals. However, when you’re a first-time mum, any pain can seem scary!
To figure out if you are going through true labour or a false alarm, you can use an app like Full Term-Contraction Timer that helps you track and record your contractions. In true labour, contractions should last about 30 to 70 seconds per contraction and come about 5 to 10 minutes apart. When this happens, you need to call your midwife to inform her of your labour progress.
Your water breaks
This is one of the final signs of labour. Most women are ready to deliver their baby within 24 hours of their waters breaking. Amniotic fluid is clear and a pale straw colour. It’s important to note that some women don’t experience this, unlike what most TV shows or movies teach us. Sometimes, the midwife or doctor will need to burst the water bag while you’re already in labour. If your water bag does break at home and the water is cloudy, or you start to bleed, inform your midwife immediately.
Knowledge is power, and this also applies to pregnancy and labour. Keep these 5 signs of labour in mind, and you’ll enter the final weeks of pregnancy feeling ready and excited to meet your new bundle of joy.