Going into labor: Early signs of labor

Get to know the signs of labor, so you know how and when to react. When you are going into labor, you may need to take precautions to protect your unborn twins.

By Kate Phillipa Clark

You’re body will send you several signs to let you know, that you are going into labor. Have a look at the most common early signs of labor below.

Bloody show

A few days or weeks before you are going into labor, the mucus plug that covers the opening of the cervix will pass out of the vagina. It will usually have small amounts of blood in it – this is known as “bloody show.” If bleeding and symptoms of labor is premature, contact your doctor right away because you might be in preterm labour. You may also experience vaginal discharge.

Vaginal bleeding

When you approach your due date, minor vaginal bleeding may be a sign from your body that it’s preparing going into labor. If you’re also having contractions, this is a good indicator that you’ve started dilating. If vaginal bleeding is as heavy as a normal menstrual period, however, contact the hospital immediately.

Contractions

Another sign that you are going into labor is braxton hicks contractions increasing in duration and strength. When you begin to feel pain or that the contractions have a regular, consistent pattern, call your midwife and discuss the situation with her. Learn when the contractions have a regular, consistent pattern, by reading our twin birth guide.

Breaking of water

Some women experience the breaking of water prior to having contractions. Even though you are not having contractions, call the hospital. They’ll want to examine you to make sure that the umbilical cord hasn’t prolapsed. A cord prolapse occurs when the cord slips through the cervix and into the birth canal prior to the baby. If the cord is squeezed, it can cut the blood and oxygen supply, suffocating the child. It’s very important that you lie down after your water has broken to take pressure off the cord, if it’s prolapsed. Once the midwife has checked that it hasn’t, you’re free to walk around. If you’re not getting contractions after a few hours, the hospital staff will induce labor. This is done via pills or a drip. The twin closest to the cervix needs to face head down in order for you to have a vaginal birth – otherwise a c-section will be required. Read about c-section and twins.

Abdominal pressure

If you feel sudden abdominal pressure, sometimes in combination with braxton hicks contractions, you may be in early labor. It’s heavy to carry twins in general, but intense abdominal pressure is often a strong sign that you’re going into labor. Contact your midwife immediately if the abdominal pressure suddenly becomes very pronounced.

About the Author

Kate Phillipa Clark

Kate Phillipa Clark has a bachelor in Journalism and an Executive Master in Corporate Communication. She is an identical twin and so is her father.

 

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