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So how will I know when it's time?

(10 Posts)
Focusfocus Fri 25-Sep-15 11:52:40

Hi all

A very basic (Silly!) question. DC1 due in October. How will I know when it's time and labour has started?

From all the stuff I have learnt in the classes in the UK it seems contractions begin and build up and you cal the hospital etc. And then at some stage your waters break.

This is contrary to what I have seen in my family back in India - and definitely different from my mum/aunts/cousins/gran/friends. People's waters seemed to go first and then baby was here in some hours from them. So for my mum as an example - went for Chinese dinner returned at midnight, had diarrhea, waters popped in a gush at 1 am, Dad faffed around trying to borrow a car in nightime India of the 1980s till 4 am, I was out of my mum while she was sat on a chair waiting for a consultant to arrive to do a C section on here, who was still at home. Consultant trying to make money was not pleased to be cheated out of a surgery

its the same story for both my grans who have had 8 between them and my great grans - who had - cough - 28 between them.

So - while we have planned as though labour begins with slight aches and pains, builds up through stage 1 2 etc, my waters could well go first? I know I call the birth centre if waters go. but how would I know otherwise that it is labour and not achey back/braxton hicks? My BH are period like lasting 20 secs or so and happen every day or every other day.

BondGate Fri 25-Sep-15 12:07:15

I think it's all a bit variable. I expect what they've said in the classes is the average experience, but it's not the same for everyone.

With DS1, my waters broke a week before contractions started (if your waters break, it's important to go to your hospital / birthing centre and get checked out, because there's a risk of infection if labour doesn't start soon after). When I did get contractions, I initially mistook the contractions for bad backache, as all the pain was in my back. No Braxton hicks here either.

NickyEds Fri 25-Sep-15 13:20:01

Your waters could well go first. With ds my waters went in a hollywood style whoosh ,with no warning , but there was some blood in them so I had to go to hospital. I went into spontaneous labour but didn't progress so had to be augmented with the drip. All in all it took about 30 hours.
With dd (10 weeks) I'd been having strong BH for two weeks and several "false starts". When labour started in earnest I knew about it, contractions are properly painful, not like BH. Contractions came strongly every 4 minutes and I was struggling with the pain so I went to hospital after 2 hours. they wanted to send me home but I really wanted to stay and she was born a couple of hours later. 5 hours start to finish. With both of my babies they were back to back so I felt all of my contractions in my lower back.
The way you know it's really labour is it hurts I'm afraid!! You should probably call your labour ward when you feel you're getting contractions and they will be able to advise you.

vvviola Fri 25-Sep-15 13:24:36

With DD1 I had the "waters break contractions start" type labour. Only vague feelings of nausea beforehand.

DD2, I got to a regular check up to be told I was 5cm. A few vague twinges before I got to 9cm, when they broke my waters. Instant non-stop contractions and DD2 arrived around 45 minutes later.

At checkup/debrief afterwards, doc reckoned I just have the sort of body that doesn't do full regular contractions until my waters break.

All friends and relatives I have spoken to have been of the "gradually increasing contractions until had to go into hospital" style of labour.

Focusfocus Fri 25-Sep-15 14:33:02

Thanks - so illuminating to know! All my family relatives and friends have been of the waters go in a gush - and baby comes in the next few hours types. We shall soon find out about me ;)

WantToGoingTo Fri 25-Sep-15 17:19:23

What I was told before labour which was v useful is that bh tend to last 60+ seconds, contractions -60 seconds. You will know when the time comes as they will happen regularly and get stronger. My waters went about 30mibs before he was born, everyone is different when it comes to that! Just trust your body and your instincts and you will know when it is time smile if you can't talk through a contraction that is a good indicator of teaching established labour (4cm dilated)

VictorJames Fri 25-Sep-15 17:21:08

My waters didn't go at all. They eventually broke them with a hook when I was 10cm as they were stopping baby getting out. The midwife said they were tough as old boots!!

WantToGoingTo Fri 25-Sep-15 17:21:24

But would add if waters go and contractions don't start call a mw as think most places induce after 24hrs if no contractions

Dixiechick17 Sat 26-Sep-15 04:08:00

My waters started to leak at 1am, every time I moved I had small gushes. Called the LW and they said to call the assessment unit if no contractions by 11am. Contractions started within the hour and for me there was no mistakening them, waters completely went at 4am, DD born just after 7am smile

LieselVonTwat Sun 27-Sep-15 15:04:48

It can be quite difficult to tell the difference between the aches and pains of late pregnancy and the very start of labour. The short answer is, you probably won't realise immediately. Diarrhoea and mucus plug coming loose can be useful indicators that things are getting going.

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