Most probably you will have Braxton Hicks contractions during your pregnancy. After a while you will realize that the contractions become more rhythmic and somewhat different. This is early labor. The contractions can be stronger and longer and most probably they are closer together.
Information about the early stages of labor
When it all starts you might wonder whether this is the real thing. In the majority of cases women feel restless, chatty and hungry. During this time the contractions could be 10 minutes apart and they may last for 45-60 seconds. As time goes by the contractions can get closer together and they might last for longer periods of time.
Women say that the contractions during the early labor stages feel like pressure in the pelvis, dull backache or menstrual cramps. At this moment women are still able to move around during the contractions. In some cases women have a runny nose in this period.
Symptoms of early labor
Besides the contractions that are obvious signs of labor, women usually have to go frequently to the bathroom and it is also possible that they have something that looks like a mild diarrhea. It is also common for women to notice a bloody discharge.
Signs of danger
There are some symptoms during the beginning of labor that can be alarming. These include noticing red flow that looks like your period. It is normal to notice some bleeding, but if it is heavy, you should go to the hospital immediately. In the same time the amniotic fluid might be dark or stained with meconium.
This may be a normal symptom of early labor, but it is best if you have it checked out. Your temperature shouldn’t be over 100 degrees and there shouldn’t be any stabbing or sharp pain in the abdomen. If you have any signs of preeclampsia or high blood pressure, it is also a bad sign.
The worrisome symptoms of the labor’s beginning also include swelling of the face, feet and hands, headaches, dizziness and vision changes. Vomiting is also a bad sign and there should be no changes in the movements of the baby. It is also a bad sign if the vaginal discharge has a foul smell.
What should you do during early labor?
Usually women want to rush to the hospital once they notice the first signs. However, it might be best to stay at home during the majority of your labor. Most women like to be in familiar places in quiet to be able to practice the relaxation techniques.
If there are no worrisome signs of the start of labor, you could still spend some time at home. It is a really good idea to have a warm shower before you leave for the hospital. This way it will be easier to relax and you will be able to adapt to the new situation.
It is important not to panic when you notice the symptoms of early labor and try to be positive and proactive. This way you will control the reactions of your body better.