Pregnancy can be difficult for many women. During the last trimester, the body might start acting in a weird manner. Here the author has compiled a list of symptoms telling us when to expect the contractions and labor.
Pregnancy can become strenuous during the later part of third trimester. Here are some of the known symptoms of labor:
Lightening or baby dropping:
In the last part of the third trimester, your baby starts gradually dropping or shifting into the pelvic region. Generally, the movement towards the pelvic region starts two to four weeks before labor. Lightening is nothing but the shifting of the baby into the pelvis to make the exit.
Usually, babies take a head down leg up position when lightening starts. However, instances of babies coming out in reverse position, i.e., leg first and head later are found. Such babies are termed as Breech Babies.
Mucus plug comes out:
Mucus plug is a thick covering of mucus, which prevents bacteria from entering the uterus. As the body prepares itself for labor, the cervix starts relaxing. According to a specialist, conducting ultrasonography in Kolkata states that most of the time the body expels mucus plug during this time.
The plug might look like a clear pink discharge. Also, it can appear days before actual labour starts. If you have discharged the mucus plug, do not be worried. Call the doctor immediately and get yourself checked. In case, you still have time before delivery, the doctor would send you back home.
The breaking of amniotic sac creates a sudden gush of water from the uterus. Ideally, the water is odourless and colourless. However, during labour if the uterus is resting directly above the bladder, pregnant women might leak urine. For an untrained person, it might be difficult to distinguish between urine and amniotic fluid.
In case of doubt is always better to consult a physician. Also, after the leakage of water do not insert anything like tampons inside the vagina. Substances like can make a passage for bacteria to enter the vagina. Besides this, if the discharged amniotic fluid has a foul smell then discuss the matter immediately with the doctor. Foul smell in amniotic fluid could mean infection.
Effacement and dilatation of cervix:
The cervix, in the last month of pregnancy, starts preparing itself for making a passage for the baby. To make the way, the cervix slowly starts stretching and thinning. More the cervix thins, more easily it can dilate. In the last part of the third trimester, the thinning of cervix may be further assisted by Braxton Hicks contractions or fake contractions.
Dilation means opening of the cervix. A fully dilated cervix makes a passage for the babies to come out. Doctors constantly check the dilation to check when the baby is coming out. When the opening of the cervix is around 10 cm, the baby can easily come out.