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How do I know I'm in labour??

(15 Posts)
proudmummy2be Sun 30-Nov-14 14:33:26

I am 40weeks+4days pregnant and for the past couple days I've been going for long walks,walking up and down stairs & ate all foods that I've been told work. For 3days I've been getting slight pains and backaches but nothing that lasts long & for 2 days I got a stitch like pain in the right side of my belly but that's not lasted long. I don't know what to expect and I'm just a bit confused.

Any advise please??

car1sberg Sun 30-Nov-14 14:34:51

Sounds like early labour maybe.. I had this for a few days before proper labour kicked in, quite suddenly! Have you had a sweep?

proudmummy2be Sun 30-Nov-14 14:38:08

No I'm supposed to getting that on Wednesday

BeginnerSAHM Sun 30-Nov-14 14:52:32

Sorry to say this but if you're not sure you're almost certainly not in established labour... Sounds like you have pre-labour rumblings though! Hope it happens soon... (The midwives always say they can tell by speaking to a woman on the phone - if you can have a conversation without pausing to groan or just stopping speaking while you're having a contraction, you're not in labour...)

proudmummy2be Sun 30-Nov-14 15:02:56

I know I'm not fully in labour I just wanted to know if it is the start of early labour

capecath Sun 30-Nov-14 15:07:00

May be a frustrating answer but... you will know!! I couldn't talk properly through proper labour pains. They will be very regular, with shortening intervals and increasing intensity (I think triage normally says 4-5 mins apart, regularly, before going in?) and much more intense than just tightenings or period type cramps. You may get a show or waters may break but that didn't happen to me for either of mine so don't rely on that! What you have described sounds like BH to me, your body getting ready. With DS2 I had irregular BH each evening for a few hours for about a week and then ended up being induced.... All the best, hang in there x

BeginnerSAHM Sun 30-Nov-14 15:09:01

Early labour or pre-labour pains can go on for weeks I'm afraid. So it's hard to tell... Good luck!

Roxie85 Tue 02-Dec-14 14:48:39

I'm going to be honest and say I had no idea I was in early labour until my waters went and by that point it was very very established.
I had 4 days of discomfort, tightenings, on and off pain down through my back and bump to my lady bits, but it was not regular in the slightest (so I assumed braxton hicks) I was getting them every 2-20mins lasting over a min each time to the point I was breathing through them and wanted it to be over. But as they were not regular I assumed it wasn't the real thing.
It was about 12hrs later that my waters went and the contractions came thick and fast and were excruciating.

My dd was born less than 2hrs later!!

You'll know for sure once it's full on labour as it will be really painful to the point you struggle to speak but until that point you could be in labour and not know it. Fingers crossed this is the start and your body is preparing itself.

squizita Tue 02-Dec-14 21:11:08

When it starts I found I got undeniable urges as well as pain. To move into a certain position, to poo (start of the push urge). It's hard to describe but that really told me "this is it" (initially thought mine was a tummy upset as had been told hours earlier I wasn't yet ready to pop and needed inducing in a few days time!).

naturalbaby Tue 02-Dec-14 21:18:02

My waters went, I had a sweep and was then floored by a massive contraction. Didn't notice anything at all building up to it until waters went.
With my other labours the contractions slowly built up so after a few hours I realised it was labour and not braxton hicks.

DinoSnores Tue 02-Dec-14 21:26:11

You won't necessarily just know. It has taken MWs by surprise on 4 occasions with me now just how far along I am with them telling me I'm not in labour because I just breathe through contractions and don't make a noise and chat happily in between.

Most recently, I was told by a MW when I went into the birth centre that I could only be in very early labour. She wandered out and said she'd pop back in a short while to see if anything was happening. About 20 minutes later, I announced to my DH (I'm still fully dressed at this point) that I could feel the baby's head. He pressed the buzzer, the MW popped her head in, my DD was born in the space of perhaps 3 minutes.

BeginnerSAHM Wed 03-Dec-14 08:30:39

Ooh, DinoSnores, that's interesting! You must have so called 'silent' labours, which I think are pretty unusual. (When you just don't feel that much pain until the very last minute.) Bet you get loads of people telling you how 'lucky' you are. I get that as I've had two very fast labours (although definitely not silent....). It is lucky in a lot of ways but a bit worrying that you might give birth unattended or in a bus stop or something! Plus my previous two were both early - early and fast isn't a good combination as you want a doctor or midwife around with a prem baby arriving...

Proudmummy - any update?!

MollyBdenum Wed 03-Dec-14 08:35:52

I'm another one who chatted happily with the midwives who were surprised when they examined my to check if I was in established labour and found me fully dilated. It seems to be fairly common among women who do hypnobirthing, although my mum was similar, so it might be a family thing.

BeginnerSAHM Wed 03-Dec-14 08:44:22

That's good to hear! All my NCT friends (and other friends) who tried hypnobirthing said it helped to some extent in the early stages but not much later on. Maybe I should order some CDs ASAP! wink I think every woman experiences the childbirth 'pain' differently - I'm sure a significant factor is your attitude but I think quite a bit is physiological. No real way of testing that theory though!

Sorry Proudmummy - hijacked your thread. Hope all going well your end!

capecath Wed 03-Dec-14 14:24:52

I have just read on another thread that "Active labour is diagnosed when you are having 3-4 strong contractions every 10 minutes, combined with an effaced cervix dilated to at least 4cm or more." Your body can be gearing up for labour before that though. That makes sense for me. I remember being at 4cm for both DS1 and 2. Any contractions before that were manageable. I was therefore in "active" labour for around 4 hours for each them. Hats off to those who breezed through to fully dilated, was certainly not the case for me!!!

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