How do you know you are in labor ?
Labor is the hard work that your body does to birth your baby. Your uterus opens (effaces and dilates) your cervix. Once fully dilated, you will push your baby out into the world.
Early labor contractions feel like menstrual-type cramps for most women or sometimes as an intense backache. They start our slowly and get progressively longer, closer together and more intense.
Definite signs of labor:
- Your water has broken
- Your contractions are getting more intense are lasting longer, and are getting closer. They do not go away after many hours in spite of position changes
When you should call your doctor or midwife:
- Your water breaks and your GBS culture is positive, please call immediately
- Your water break and the color is greenish-brown (the baby may have passed meconium)– this can indicate a problem and you should also call right away.
- Your contractions occur every 5 mintues or less and last a full minute, for at least 2 hours– sooner if this is not your first labor
- Contractions become so painful that you cannot walk or talk during them
- You have heavy vaginal bleeding (blood runs down your legs and soaks your panties)
- You are less than 37 week pregnant and you feel your labor has started (preterm)
- Your baby is moving less than usual or not at all
- You have a medical obstetric condition that warrants you to call sooner (as instructed by your doctor or midwife)
- The bottom line: If you are concerned about stomething, you should call.
Things you can do in early labor before your come to the hospital
- If it is nigh time and you can sleep, rest as long as you can
- Take a shower or bath to relax
- Eat and drink. Labor is a big event ! It takes lots of energy
- Get a massage
- Don’t panic. Breathe !! Remember, you can do this.
Please call us first before you come to the hospital. Our phone number is 609-896-0777.