February 26, 2010

False Labor Signs – Pregnancy

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Labor is the cycle that the uterus goes through during the birth of a baby. A woman can go into labor at any time during the pregnancy period but is usually at the end of the term at around 40 weeks. It is triggered by the hormones secreted close to the due date.

Early labor is also known as the latent stage of labor and is often referred to as ‘false labor’. This commonly occurs before the actual labor cycle begins. Most women experience Braxton Hicks contractions during the last weeks of the pregnancy and find it to be an exciting time as it signals that the waiting is going to end soon. It is normal for the woman to be extremely talkative and active during early labor; however one must take care and avoid exertion. Some women feel the need to eat more often or move around more than usual. The contractions are usually not painful and the uterus just tenses and lifts. Some changes in position normally cause the contractions to stop. This is because the baby ‘drops’ to a lower position in the abdomen in preparation for the birth, making breathing easier by taking the pressure off the upper abdomen. However, it puts added pressure on the bladder making the woman want to urinate more often and make bowel movements difficult. The contractions are not consistent and typically fade away in some time with resting or some movement. It is important to stay hydrated at this time as it helps with endurance and pain tolerance levels by regulating the blood sugar levels. It is advisable to eat light snacks and easy to digest kind of foods. More often than not bland food is preferred by most women. It is best not to eat spicy food and to avoid heavy meals altogether.

The cervix typically begins to dilate in the last few weeks before the actual labor starts. Even though dilation is the most important symptom of labor, the actual start date and time cannot be accurately predicted. The mucus plug that forms in the cervix during the pregnancy comes off as the cervix starts becoming softer and starts to open. A clear pink or slightly bloodied mucus discharge is seen once this happens. Sometimes the ‘water breaks’ during early labor, where the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby leaks or breaks. This can happen several hours before the actual labor sets in. The doctor must be consulted before any medicine is taken during this time.