As a first-time mom, it's natural to feel uncertain about the signs of labor. Here are some common indicators to watch for:
Contractions: Regular contractions that become stronger and closer together are a clear sign that labor is starting. Time the contractions from the beginning of one to the beginning of the next.
Water breaking: If you experience a sudden gush or continuous trickle of fluid from your vagina, it may indicate that your water has broken. This can happen before or during contractions.
Cervical changes: As labor approaches, your cervix will start dilating and effacing (thinning out). Your healthcare provider will check these changes during prenatal visits.
Bloody show: A pinkish or brownish discharge mixed with mucus (resembling a plug) may appear as your cervix begins to open up.
Backache and pelvic pressure: You may feel increased discomfort in your lower back and pelvis as your baby descends into the birth canal.
Nesting instinct: Some women experience an urge to clean or organize their surroundings shortly before going into labor.
Remember, every woman's experience is unique, so not all these signs may apply to you. If you're unsure whether you're in labor or have concerns about any symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for guidance. They will be able to assess your situation and provide appropriate advice based on your individual circumstances.