How to recognize the signs of labor

How to recognize the signs of labor
Fonte: shutterstock

Labor, childbirth, birth: the three fundamental moments that announce the arrival of a new life are contained in three very simple words, yet with totally different meanings and impacts on the life of the woman - and of the couple - who live them. In particular, the signs of labor and their recognition have always been a big question mark: will the contractions really begin? When should I go to the hospital? Understanding how labor begins is one of the great worries of mothers and fathers who try to probe the earth so as not to waste too much time and, in the same way, not to get to the hospital before it is too late. The important thing is to distinguish between the symptoms of pre-labor, which anticipate the arrival of real contractions and the stages of labor that will lead to the birth of the baby.

And here is how to recognize these signs, what they are and how to interpret them.

Also read: False contractions in pregnancy or Braxton Hicks contractions

How to recognize the signs of labor

Distinguishing between the symptoms of pre-labor also helps not to consider the false contractions (or Braxton-Higgs contractions) that occur not only in the imminence of birth but also in the preceding weeks. In the days leading up to the birth, however, there are symptoms (including these preparatory contractions), signals that cannot be misunderstood. Here they are.

Preparatory contractions

They are used to prepare the uterus for actual labor but if they are not regular and close together, the time is not yet near. On the contrary, if the regularity is evident, you have to start paying attention to it and preparing the necessary to go to the hospital!

Loss of the mucous plug

The mucous plug is a gelatinous mass that protects the uterus throughout the pregnancy. When it no longer needs it, the uterus expels it: the important thing is to call the gynecologist to understand what to do when it happens.

Leaking amniotic fluid

There is the possibility that small losses of liquid in the days preceding the birth: they are odorless and transparent and should not scare also because they often do not represent the actual breaking of the water. However, if the losses persist, it is necessary to consult the gynecologist in order to assess the extent.

The child presses on the bladder

The little one is ready to go out! And he has probably positioned himself on the bladder, so as to cause in the mother an urgent need to go to urinate. In addition to this, however, the mother perceives a marked improvement in breathing capacity, now that the baby has moved lower.

The belly drops

Another sign of the displacement of the child who is channeling to get out. The feeling of the lowering belly is not just a sensation but it is the position of the baby, which is now pointing to the uterus, which causes it.

A lot of fatigue or incredible energy?

In the days before giving birth, mothers begin to feel two opposite sensations: extreme tiredness but also moments of acute energy. Even if the urge to walk to cause contractions is strong, better not to overdo it: the body is in an incredible phase of revolution and is trying to gather the strength for childbirth.


Back pain is also a symptom of obvious travail, which has to do with the baby's movements and the new balance that the body has found in the last days before delivery. Of course, contractions also have an influence on this little pre-birth disorder.

Breaking of the waters

The symptom of labor par excellence (even if it does not necessarily begin immediately afterwards!) Is the breaking of the waters, especially in anticipation of a natural birth. Often, following the breaking of the waters ... nothing happens. And that's why many women look for foolproof ways to get contractions. Better to warn the gynecologist about the breaking of the waters to evaluate the times in which the baby can still remain in the belly before proceeding, for example, to an induced birth.

The journey begins

The four stages of labor that precede expulsion at this point, especially in the physiological parts, are close. Each woman will experience them differently until the final sprint. Good luck!

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