a walk, puttering around at home, or asking a trusted friend or relative over to keep you company. You could alternate between walking and resting, or try taking a warm bath or shower to ease any aches and pains. If you can, try to get some rest to prepare you for the work ahead. During early labor, you may feel hungry, so eat and drink if you feel like it. This will help to comfort you and may even help your labor to progress more smoothly.
Can I have contractions and not be in labor?
Yes. You can have pre-labor contractions. These help your cervix to go through the changes it needs to before it starts to dilate. During dilation, your cervix moves from the back (posterior position) to the front (anterior position). It will also be shortening and thinning (softening and effacing). These changes may take place without you noticing over the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Or you may experience hours or days of cramps or contractions. These may be progressing the early changes in your cervix, even though they may not be dilating your cervix yet. A doctor can confirm whether cervical changes have started during an examination. If your baby has his head down but his back to your
back, it can take longer for his head to engage and for labor to start. Your contractions may be erratic and low in intensity, and you may have backache. Your doctor will advise you about ways to cope at home until labor becomes stronger. Try a warm bath or massage to relieve the pain. If your baby is back-to-back, getting into an all-fours position, on your hands and knees, for half an hour or so now and again can help relieve backache.
Can I tell if labor is about to happen soon?
Maybe. Signs of the approach of labor include: • Lightening, when your baby’s head begins to drop into position in your pelvis. You may be able to breathe more deeply and eat more, but you’ll also need to use the restroom more frequently, and walking may be more difficult. • Heavier and more mucus vaginal discharge. • More frequent and noticeably more intense Braxton Hicks contractions. • Mood swings and a surge of energy.
Delivering little miracles every day. Having a baby is one of life’s most joyous experiences. We make it even more memorable with extra pampering and special touches such as private birthing rooms, a cozy recliner, Wi-Fi bedside Internet access, and a congratulatory meal. Plus, we offer prenatal education classes, as well as breastfeeding, childbirth and postpartum support, all with experienced OB nursing care in a convenient location close to home. Call 760-957-3323 to schedule a tour.
BarstowBaby.com Barstow Community Hospital is designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as a Baby-Friendly Hospital. VV-00074549
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