The Pros and Cons of 7 Childbirth Delivery Methods
Check out the pros and cons of these different delivery methods to help you decide which one might be best for you:
- Vaginal delivery
- Water birth
- Cesarean section (C-section)
- Home birth
- Bradley method
What are the early signs and symptoms of labor?
While there are characteristic changes in the body with impending
every woman's experience is unique and different. "Normal" can vary from woman
to woman. The signs and symptoms of normal labor can begin three weeks prior to
the anticipated due date up until two weeks afterward, and there is no precise
way to predict exactly when a woman will go into labor. This article describes
the 10 most common signs and symptoms that labor is approaching.
1. The baby drops
Medically known as "lightening," this is when the baby "drops." The baby's
head descends deeper into the pelvis. For some women, this occurs up to 2 weeks
prior to the beginning of labor; other women may not notice this event at all.
2. An increased urge to urinate
An increased urge to urinate can be a result of the baby's head dropping into
the pelvis. The low position of the baby's head puts even more pressure on the
urinary bladder, so many women approaching labor might feel a frequent need to
urinate. As the baby drops, breathing can become easier since there is less
pressure on the diaphragm from underneath.
3. The mucus plug passes
Passage of the mucus plug is a known sign that labor is near. Thick mucus
produced by the cervical glands normally keeps the cervical opening closed
during pregnancy. This mucus plug must be expelled before delivery. Pressure
from the baby's head causes the mucus plug to be expressed from the vagina,
sometimes as blood-tinged vaginal discharge (referred to as "bloody show"). For
some women, the mucus plug is not expelled until after labor begins; others may
notice the mucus discharge in the days prior to the onset of labor.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/19/2015