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Prelabor Preparation

Weeks before real labor begins, the pregnant woman's body starts preparing for birth.  Most of these changes will go unnoticed, but some may be welcome signs that mom has finally made it to the end of her beautiful journey.
However, if you experience any of these changes before 37 weeks it's best to talk to your doctor about the potential risk for premature labor and birth.

Increased Blood Volume and Circulation

·       Symptom – Swelling and flushing of the skin.

As you get closer to the delivery date, the body will prepare for the potential of blood loss of birth by further increasing the volume of blood in the body. More blood means more space to hold that blood volume. Tissues all over the body will swell and expand in order to hold the blood mom is reserving for baby’s birth day.

Contractions So Soon

The first practice contractions are called Braxton Hicks contractions. These are exercises for the uterus and for mom. Braxton Hicks contractions do not expand the cervix or progress the pregnancy toward birth.However, they must not be confused with potential premature labor contractions. If you are under 37 weeks of the pregnancy and you experience painful regular contractions, it's best to let your doctor know or go directly to the hospital for an examination.

·       Symptom – Unproductive, mild contractions.

Breasts Leaking Yellow Fluid

Colostrum production starts about the 3rd month of pregnancy, but mom may notice a bit of yellow fluid leaking from her breasts during Prelabor. The breasts are simply getting ready to breastfeed baby by clearing and cleaning the milk ducts.

·       Symptom – Yellow, thick fluid secreting from the nipple.

Bloody “Show”

Finding blood and mucus in your panties is very common during Prelabor. Bloody “show” is not the same as menstrual blood. Instead, it will look like thick, white mucus with streaks of blood. If the mucus looks particularly thick or in a plug form – this could be the mucus plug that once closed off the cervix.

·       Symptom – Streaks of blood and mucus in panties or on toilet paper.

In the Bathroom Again

Diarrhea is a self cleansing part of Prelabor. The body knows that the same pressure used during bowel movements will be used to push baby through the birth canal. In order to prepare for this pushing, diarrhea often occurs during Prelabor.

·       Symptom – Mild to moderate diarrhea days or hours before labor begins.

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