Am I In Labour?by Your Baby Club
By the time labour starts, most women are well and truly ready for baby to arrive. However, it can be a little nerve-wracking. Try not to worry! No two women or labours are the same. Some can have fast deliveries and others have slow ones.
Early Labour Symptoms May Include:
- Your mucus plug that has been covering your cervix may be expelled
- Waters breaking
- Cramping (like period pains)
- Feeling constipated, bloated, or pain in your stomach
- Diarrhoea or sickness
It’s essential to call your midwife if your waters break and they will let you know when you should go into hospital.
At the Beginning of Labour;
- Keep walking or moving if you can.
- Drink fluids and have regular snacks.
- Try relaxation and breathing exercises we covered in 'Hypnobirthing' on page 188.
- Have your birth partner rub your back – this can be a great pain reliever.
- Take paracetamol.
- Have a warm bath.
- Use your TENS machine.
How do I Bring on Labour Naturally?
There are tonnes of old wives’ tales surrounding bringing on labour, including things like having sex, eating spicy foods, exercise, nipple stimulation, raspberry leaf tea, acupuncture, eating dates and ingesting castor oil. Though most are complete hogwash, women have reported some success with a few of them, so can’t hurt if you want to give them a go. However, eating spicy foods can cause an upset stomach - not something you likely want when you're pushing a baby out! Midwives also advise against the use of castor oil, as it can cause irregular and painful contractions.
Our Official Midwife's best advice is to try nipple stimulation. But mainly, remain relaxed and calm and it will happen on its own.
9 times out of 10, if your baby hasn’t come yet, it’s because you or baby isn't quite ready. Midwives will arrange a date for induction once you are 41 weeks with the view to baby being born before 42.