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As a soon-to-be parent, waiting for the arrival of your little one can be an equally exciting and nerve-wracking experience, and knowing the early signs of labour is crucial to ensure that you're well-prepared.
The symptoms of labour can vary from one person to the next, but it's essential to be aware of the most common ones. In this blog, we'll discuss the early signs of labour that you should look out for, so you can be ready for the big day.
There are a few key indicators that signal that labour is about start, but the truth is, every labour experience is unique.
You may experience some of the symptoms we're going to run through, but this doesn't necessarily mean that your labour will start immediately.
The early signs of labour typically start in the third trimester between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy.
If this is your first pregnancy, you might be uncertain about when it's time to go to the hospital or midwifery unit. The best thing to do is to get in touch with your hospital or unit for guidance.
If your waters have broken, you'll likely be asked to come in for a check-up. If you're experiencing contractions but your waters haven't broken, you may be advised to wait.
Typically, you'll be asked to come in when your contractions are:
Don't forget to call the hospital or unit before leaving your home and make sure you bring your notes and hospital bag.
If you live far from the hospital, it's best to leave sooner to make sure you get there in time.
Second babies tend to arrive faster, so you may need to contact the hospital, midwifery unit or midwife sooner.
If you're planning to give birth at home, follow the procedure you've discussed with your midwife regarding the onset of labour, and make sure you're aware of the signs.
You should seek medical advice if:
Contractions: What Do They Feel Like?
In this blog, we'll explore early labour pains, Braxton Hicks, and the different types of contractions and what they feel like.
The 3rd Trimester: What Happens?
Let's take a closer look at what happens in the third trimester of pregnancy and answer some of the questions that expectant parents ask..