Most first-time pregnant women have a common fear: going to the hospital too late or too early to give birth. And it is precisely because of this fear that many women go to the hospital prematurely, which can lead to inductions or having to return home due to a false alarm. Also, others confuse false contractions with true ones, arriving later than expected at the center of attention and running the risk of compromising the fetus’s health.
Fortunately, there are apparent and precise signs to know when labor has begun, you have to recognize them and identify their symptoms well, and you will see that you will never have to ask yourself when you should go to the hospital to give birth. If you want to solve all your doubts, avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room and correctly detect when labor begins, keep reading this article from FastlyHeal.
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Labor contractions, the real ones
False contractions cause pain and tension in the abdomen and can easily be mistaken for the onset of labor. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions and are caused by the relaxation and pressure of the uterus that is preparing for the moment of delivery. These contractions occur in all pregnancies, although not all women experience them, and they are more common in the third trimester.
The labor contractions are regular and very painful; some periods pause and then start to be followed, usually three contractions every 10 minutes for two consecutive hours. In first-time women, the onset of labor may be more prolonged, so it should be taken into account that there is the possibility of spending days with labor contractions, so it is advisable to remain calm and rest to have strength when it is the time to give birth.
How to differentiate false contractions from labor contractions
- If the contraction is concentrated around the abdomen, it is likely a Braxton Hicks contraction. The pain of labor contractions focuses on the lower back, and the pain radiates to the stomach or vice versa.
- Labor pain can be described as similar to menstrual pain but much more intense.
- Labor contractions can also be identified by putting pressure on the pelvis as the fetus prepares to come out.
- Labor contractions are getting more painful; false contractions cause endurable pain that can start strong and weaken in the next contraction.
- The best way to identify contractions is by timing the time between each one since false contractions are irregular and regular labor contractions.
- Braxton Hicks contractions stop when you change your body position; labor contractions stay in any place and intensify when you walk.
- If you have not reached 37 weeks yet, your contractions are likely false.
Expulsion of the mucous plug
Many women do not know the mucous plug; it is found in the endocervical canal. Its function is to exert a barrier between the vagina and the uterus to prevent the penetration of bacteria. The mucous tampon is reddish-brown mucus. In the term of pregnancy, the cervix dilates, which can cause the expulsion of the mucous plug. However, some women expel this substance a week before delivery, so it should not be considered an imminent symptom that it is time to go to the hospital to give birth, but the delivery is very close.
When the woman breaks water, she expels liquid through the vagina, which can be tiny or abundant. This substance is nothing more than amniotic fluid. When the expulsion is not plentiful, the exit of the liquid can be confused with the flow; to differentiate it, the woman must place a compress and verify that it is involuntarily moistened. If you have doubts, it is best to go to the hospital.
When the liquid is yellowish or greenish, it is also necessary to go immediately to the medical center. Some women can find breakwater without contractions, so they must go to the hospital because it may be required to induce labor to protect the fetus; remember that the amniotic fluid is a protective barrier between the vagina and the uterine cavity.
Bleeding before delivery
It is usual for some women to shed threads of blood before starting labor, either due to the expulsion of the mucous plug or because the water has broken. If small spots occur, there is no reason to consider bleeding an alarm situation; however, when the woman begins to expel abundant blood, it is preferable to go to the hospital.
When the delivery is near, the pregnancy belly, which has been up and firmed every month, begins to descend towards the stomach due to the baby getting ready to go out. How to know that the belly has dropped? It is straightforward because, in addition to visually noticing it in your belly, you will feel that you can breathe better and have less heaviness. The urge to urinate will increase because the fetus is pressing more on your bladder. This is not a symptom that you have to go to the hospital to give birth, but it is a sign that there are a few days left, so when you notice that your belly has started to drop, prepare your bag and all the things you will need. On the day of delivery, plan how you will travel to the medical center, who will accompany you, and have everything ready so that when the time comes, you have to get dressed and leave the house to meet your baby . !! Congratulations!!
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.