Ok, sensational title for a actual personal event. Yet, it is a real event and we all wondered what is going on in our body as we waited for labor to start. First off the powers that be American Collage of Obsetrics and Gynacology(ACOG), just a group of doctors, decided that pregnancy is too long so they decided to shorten it. However,God made it to be 42 weeks.You are not overdue until 42 weeks.It is not 38 weeks like these humans want it to be. These guys also think on the whole that c-sections are a reasonable mode of delivery and include reasons to do c/s beyond life saving measures.They are able to do "something" and get more money for it.Your body births your baby, ever wonder why they call it delivery? So,they set the image that they are absolutely necessary.That said; I personally needed an emergency c/s in '83 and it saved both our lives. When I became pregnant the next year, I had no hope of a vaginal birth,mainly because my incision inside came apart and needed to be fixed and there was danger to me of hemorrage. So, I am not against c/s! I want women to be informed and understand that birth does not need to be a surgical event for every pregnancy.
But this is about the signs that you are starting labor. It will start in the 36 week range with achy joints. Why? A hormone called Relaxin is slowly increasing in your body to soften your sacral cartilage so you can physically pass the baby.Baby also helps with increased weight and pressure as they hopefully settle head down in the top of the birth canal. Move carefully and avoid climbing and heavy lifting.You could easily hurt your back or fall in this period of time.Use heat or cold packs to achy spots, warm showers or baths are helpful too. Avoid aspirin and Nsaids because they can thin your blood. You are about to give birth and you don't need to bleed too much,so avoid things that thin it. Eat spinach and green leafy veggies for the vitamin K.
The next early events may be an assumed case of food poisoining. WHAT??? Yes,as you start to have minor contractions and shifting positions of the baby on your bowels it may cause diarrea and cramping. These are random, gassy cramps without rythmn so are not often recognised until after. Of course,eat carefully during pregnancy. Eat clean,wholesome food in moderation and not to excess. DON"T eat a half gallon of ice cream in a sitting, you will have gas and cramps that have nothing to do with labor! Avoid large amounts of dairy, spicy or fast foods. These can aggravate gallbladders and that is extremely painful,and you have to suffer thru it,so just be wise what you eat.You may also have a return of "morning sickness" or smell aversion, another change in hormones as you prepare. There are studies that suggest that these hormones interact with the baby and that the baby stimulates the actual labor. That would then go against the wive's tales of taking castor oil to cause loose stools to get things going. It only empties you and possibly weakens you right when you need strength.
Finally (for this post), Braxton Hicks contractions. These are real contractions however they are light, and a sign that the uterus is irritated. Commonly this is caused by dehydration. Ok, so get dehydrated and get things going! Right?? Absolutely NOT! The amniotic fluid is very important to support the baby off the umbilical cord, it(the fluid) also is being ingested and "breathed in" by the baby. It needs to be cycled every 12 hours or so to support, and prevent infection,remove waste products and prevent stress to the baby.To top that off, when you go to a hospital birth they start an IV and it will stop those in 5 minutes flat.So your bill is bigger and you wasted time and had to have painful things done to you; that you will just have to do again when you come in for the real thing.How can you tell the difference?You can't always tell. The discomfort especially for first time moms is real and follows the timing and duration,so let's go.
Not so fast. You really don't want to go unless you have been told differently for individual purposes. Labor takes sometimes weeks. Your caregiver will give you a time frame of when to go.This will be like "when your contractions are 5 minutes apart for an hour come and get checked." During that time drink water. If you were resting when it started ,get up and gently move around. Do the dishes,or take a shower.If you were moving around when they start ,sit or lay down,drinking your water. I mean a bottle or more, no sipping, DRINK! If you need a c/s they will make you throw up so don't worry ,(unless you are preparing for a c/s in less than 10 hours). Well this is overlong, I will probably add more in another posting.If you have questions, ask your doctor, and send me a comment. Always ask questions. They are good for you.