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Birth & More | What to Expect from Birth

Labour: How do I know if this is the Real Deal?

As the time draws closer, you might be wondering how on earth you’ll know when exactly to rush off to the hospital. No mom-to-be wants to find herself being sent home due to a false alarm. So, how do you know if you are really in labour?


First things first, let’s look at false labour symptoms:

  • Irregular contractions that are not increasing in frequency and severity.
  • Contractions ease up when you walk around or change your position.
  • Show/discharge, if any, is a brownish colour. This kind of discharge is usually due to intercourse or an internal exam within the past 48 hours.
  • Foetal movements intensify momentarily with your contractions (let your gynae know immediately if the movements are getting frantic though).

Symptoms of real (early) labour:

  • Contractions intensify and become more frequent and painful
  • Indigestion
  • Backache
  • Diarrhoea
  • A feeling of warmth in the abdomen
  • Bloody show/discharge
  • Pain that feels like menstrual cramps
  • Waters break

When to go to hospital or call your midwife:

  • If your contractions are five minutes apart or closer
  • If you feel overwhelmed and need assistance getting through the pain of the contractions
  • If you are bleeding or your waters break

If you are pregnant you are probably spending a lot of time reading up on anything pregnancy related. Keep in mind that every pregnancy is unique and that every book is simply a guide. Do what feels right. If waiting until your contractions are five minutes apart is cutting it a bit fine for your liking, go to the hospital when you feel you should. Your peace of mind and your baby’s safety are the most important aspects to consider.

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