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Your child’s delivery is one of the most anticipated moments of your life. Not only are you ready to see your baby, but the idea of being pregnant any longer makes you miserable, so you might be paying too much attention to the changes happening with your body and wondering what they all mean. How do you know when you are truly in labour?
It can be hard to determine, especially with the likely possibility of false labour. What are some symptoms that mean that labour has probably started? First there is the bloody show. This is mucous that is red, pink or brown and can be found when wiping yourself. This happens as your cervix begins to dilate and prepare to push your baby out. However, this could start weeks ahead of time.
Speaking of mucous, if you pass your mucous plug this could also mean you are well on your way to having your baby. This plug is a thick chunk of mucus that protects your baby from bacteria by blocking your cervix. This still doesn’t mean that labour is imminent, however.
If you are accostumed to getting back pain during your menstrual cycles, then it is likely you will experience back labour as well. A back ache, whether it lingers or comes and goes, is a good indication you are in labour. Some think the back pain is associated with the position of the baby’s head. Either way it could mean you are having back labour instead of the more traditional labour.
Contractions seem to be the standard for determining whether or not labour has started, but even they can be unpredictable. Braxton Hicks contractions are not a sign of real labour and can begin happening months ahead of time, making it confusing to distinguish the Braxton Hicks with the real thing. The rule of thumb is that if it is constant, does not go away, and changing position does not work – then you are having real contractions. Having at least one every five minutes means it is time to call your doctor.