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How do I know when the baby is coming?

Carrying a child and giving birth are filled with aches and pains unique to each individual, but how do you know if labour has truly begun? Here are a few pointers:

  • You note more Braxton Hicks contractions. More frequent and intense Braxton Hicks contractions can signal pre-labour. A general rule of thumb is when your contractions become increasingly longer, stronger, and closer together. They may be as far apart as every ten minutes or so in the beginning, but they won’t stop or ease up no matter what you do.
  • You pass your mucus plug or notice a bloody show this is a good sign your body is preparing for labour.
  • Your water breaks: Don’t worry about the Hollywood styled movie and panic you won’t get to the hospital in time, or will go into full blown labour straight away. It just means baby is coming, call the hospital to ask what you should do; they may suggest waiting, walking or coming in, each health care practitioner is different.
  • While lightening isn’t a predictor of when labour will start, it is a sign that the baby is moving into position and getting ready for birth.

Your health care practitioner will give you guidelines about when you should get ready to come to the hospital or prepare for the birth.

Also remember that it is okay to go and get checked if you feel you are in labour or something isn’t right. Most first time mothers do this, rather be safe than sorry. Trust yourself and your instincts.

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