Spot the Signs of Labor

Many women, especially with their first babies, think they are in labor when they’re not. This is called false labor. So don’t feel embarrassed if you go to the hospital thinking you’re in labor, only to be sent home!

If you think labor has begun, you should call your doctor or midwife. They can decide if it’s time to go to the hospital or if you should be seen at the office first. Learn the signs of labor so you will know when the time has come.

Call your doctor if you experience any of the following :

  • Contractions that come at regular and increasingly shorter intervals. Contractions should also
    become stronger over time.
  • You have lower back pain that doesn’t go away. You might also feel premenstrual and crampy.
  • Your water breaks (can be a large gush or a continuous trickle).

You have a bloody (brownish or red-tinged) mucous discharge. This is probably the mucous plug that blocks the cervix. Losing your mucous plug usually means your cervix is dilating (opening up) and becoming thinner and softer (effacing). Labor could start right away or may still be days away.