Labor is the point in pregnancy when your body begins to get ready to deliver your long-awaited baby. No-one yet really knows what triggers labor, but it is believed that the baby may release hormones which let the womb know it's time to prepare for childbirth and it is at this point that pregnant women will begin to experience the signs of labor.
The signs of labor can be subtle to begin with, but will intensify over time and may include diarrhoea, nausea/ vomiting, increased discharge/ show, backache, contractions, dilation of cervix, lightening and rupture of the Membranes (Waters Breaking).
Sometimes the signs of labor can begin weeks or days before the baby is actually born, but it is important to contact your gp, midwife or maternity unit if you think you are experiencing labor symptoms so that they can monitor your progress and reassure you if necessary.
For many women labor is something they worry about a lot, particularly in the last weeks of their pregnancy. Many mothers-to-be wonder what it will feel like and if they will be able to cope. However, for the majority of women, labor is not as bad as they feared. Yes, it is hard work, but the reward at the end is often a little someone who makes it all worthwhile!
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