Signs your Body is Preparing for Labor

You have been anxiously awaiting the birth of your baby for 9 months.  Signs that your body is preparing for labor can be:

  • Passage of your mucus plug which is increase of vaginal discharge or mucus which can appear pink or bloody. This is not a reliable sign of labor.  You do not need to call if you think you have passed your mucus plug.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are basically tune up contractions when your uterus tightens but aren’t very painful and occur irregularly with no pattern.

These things can happen weeks prior to the baby coming and are not signs you are in labor.  Real labor is most often associated with regular painful uterine contractions that you cannot walk or talk through.  It can sometimes start with your bag of waters breaking resulting in a gush or trickle of water.  

Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first baby, try to stay home until you have regular uterine contractions every 3 to 5 minutes for over 2 hours that you cannot walk or talk through.  If this is not your first, your labor generally progresses faster so come to the hospital if you have regular painful contractions for 1 hour.

You should also come to the hospital if you think your bag of water is broken or leaking or if you have period like vaginal bleeding.

They have not yet invented a phone app that would determine if you are or are not in labor.  So, if you think you are in labor, please head on in to the hospital to be checked.  You do not need to call us.

Sometimes you think you are in labor only to be told you are not.  We often call this false labor.  This is where you are indeed contracting but the contractions are not causing any dilation or change to your cervix.  This condition is often treated by walking which can often make the contractions stronger so the cervix begins to dilate.  Sometimes the mother-to-be gets so exhausted from lack of sleep that medications are given to help get some rest.  After some sleep, a better contraction pattern is seen with cervical change.

For labor:

  • Lotion or oil for massage
  • Your favorite pillow
  • Socks
  • Bathrobe
  • Lip balm
  • Hair band or clip
  • Reading materials

For after birth:

  • Open night gown or pajamas
  • Nursing bra and nursing pads
  • Shampoo, toothbrush and personal toiletries

For the baby:

  • Infant car seat
  • Receiving blanket
  • Two outfits
  • Mittens
  • A few onesies
Close Menu