The birth of the baby is an event that each pregnant mother is happily anticipating for months or sometimes fearfully dreading!! It all depends on the knowledge and preparation you have done for your due date. Due date (or EDOD) is counted by adding 9 months and 7 days to your date of last menstrual period (if you had regular menstrual cycle of 28 days). Here are some prelabour signs which might help you to predict that the ultimate date is near:-
A few weeks before the onset of labour, the baby′s head descends down into the pelvis (especially in primigravidas ), giving a sense of relief to the chest. There is increased frequency of urination .You can also feel some pain in lower back or groin due to pressure on your cervix .Your body feels a bit looser ,due to hormone relaxin that makes ligaments soft and loose.Some women may have diarrhea so they should stay hydrated. Because of large distended abdomen, some women feel difficulty in getting night sleep. You can put pillows between your legs while resting in left lateral position and catch sleep whenever you can .You may also experience increased or thickened vaginal discharge .Slight bleeding mixed with mucous (show) is a good indicator that labour is imminent. Braxton Hicks contractions (painless) can occur months before the due date but slowly they increase in intensity and duration and become painful leading ultimately to labour pains.
Signs of true labour:
Contractions increasing in intensity and duration,not relieved by any means. If there is gush of watery fluid through your vagina,its the time to rush to the doctor. Here are few tips to prepare yourself for the due date:
Gather knowledge about the different stages of labour so that you know what to expect and you can make choices during labour wisely.
Take part in prenatal yoga classes or mothercraft classes to relax yourself.
Dont be feared by listening to others intrapartum experiences. Remember, every labour is a different experience.
Keep yourself prepared with a kit containing your and your partners daily essentials and newborn clothes even one month prior to the due date.
Always keep someone near you or atleast a phone call away to inform in case of emergency.
Pay frequent visits (atleast one a week) to your obstetrician after 36 weeks of gestation.
Take adequate rest, have healthy diet and listen to your favourite music to relax yourself.
A nearing due date should not be taken with fear but with enthusiasm as all your pain and exhaustion will ultimately be replaced with joy and celebrations with the sight of a healthy baby in your lap!