- Signs and Symptoms of Labor
- Major Signs and Symptoms
- When do the Antecedents of Labor Start?
- How to Understand that Labor Starts?
Signs and Symptoms of Labor
At what gestational age (what week) does labor start? The pregnancy is considered full-term at the 37th week. Since that moment and up to the 40th week, labor can start at any time. How to identify the beginning of labor? One cannot predict, when it will happen, there is not the faintest chance. However, there are some early signs, judging by which you can suppose the upcoming early labor.
There are many theories explaining the beginning of a childbirth. In ancient times, it was believed that the starting moment of labor was a tightness of a fetus by a small space and his hunger. Modern theories assume that labor starts by forming of the labor brain dominance, the increase of substances` concentration in the blood of a pregnant woman, which stimulate muscular irritability of the uterus, increasing the level of sex hormones estrogens, accumulating of the extra energy in the cells.
Major Signs and Symptoms
Two-three weeks before a childbirth, pregnant women can distinguish several signs and symptoms of the beginning labor:
- Lightening. It is because of the fact that fetal head descends deeper into the pelvis, the bottom of the uterus decreases and provides less pressure on the diaphragm and stomach. Therefore, a woman can breathe more easily, diminishing presentations of a heartburn. However, there is a growing pressure in the bladder region, a pregnant woman starts to micturate more often.
- Сenter-of-gravity shifts anteriorly. Consequently, the manner of walking of a pregnant woman changes, her shoulders are marched back- a prance of a woman.
- Pouching of the belly-button. Before labor, the increasing influence of estrogens provides amyotonia of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall, the belly-button becomes more pliable.
- Changing of a pregnant woman`s behavior: increased nervous anxiety, or, conversely, a weak state of apathy. This is due to the change of physiological processes in the brain cortex resulting from labor brain dominance formation.
- Reducing of the body weight of a pregnant woman up to several kilograms. The forthcoming labor decreases the amount of amniotic fluid, changes metabolism, reduces the latency of the excess fluid in the body of a woman.
- Reduction of fetal motor activity. This phenomenon is due to a decrease in amniotic fluid, the fixation of the fetus head to the entrance of the pelvis.
- Discomfort or drawing pain in the abdomen and lower back. Estrogens increase the elasticity of the ligaments, an imperceptible increase in pelvic bones occurs.
- Discharge of cervical plug. During ripening of the cervix, its channel shortens and the activity of mucous glands increases. Within a few days, the discharge from the genital tract becomes more abundant, like thick mucus, transparent or slightly brownish sometimes with pink stripes.
When do the Antecedents of Labor Start?
Starting from the 37th week, the duration of the antecedents of the labor start varies in women and can be from several hours to several weeks. In six- eight hours before a childbirth, some women have a preliminary period. This time is characterized by the appearance of contractions of the uterus, which are irregular in frequency, strength and duration. In the meantime, a woman should not feel any special discomfort, sleep disorders or lack of appetite. One can note some slight brown spotting discharge from the genital tract. The uterine contractions intensify gradually, becoming regular. Thus, the labor starts.
How to Understand that Labor Starts?
The presence of regular labor activity is characterized by repeated painful uterine contractions- dilating pains. At the beginning of the delivery, the duration of dilating pains is 7-10 seconds and the interval between them is approximately 15-20 minutes. Over time, the duration of the contractions is increased to 40-50 seconds, and the time between them is shortened to a few minutes.
The state of a woman changes, it is not possible to fall asleep. Cervical dilatation can lead to the development of nausea or vomiting. Sometimes a labor process begins with bursting of the waters, which is a liquid, rather abundant discharge from the genital tract.