Prenatal Tips for the Third Trimester
Signs that labor will begin soon:
- Discharge of the mucous plug is one sign that labor will begin within 24 hours. You will see mucous with a small amount of blood on your underwear. This pinkish thing has kept your uterus sealed and protected from germs during pregnancy. Its loss means your cervix is getting softer and thinner in preparation for delivery.
- Bag of water breaks-sometimes the first sign of labor is water coming from the vagina, either in a slow trickle or a great gush. What’s happening is the water bag, which is called the amniotic sac, that your baby has been in during pregnancy breaks or leaks. If this happens, call your doctor or clinic. You and your baby are now open to infection. When your water breaks, you should be in active labor in 24 hours.
- Contractions- labor often starts with contractions. What do they feel like? There is no one answer. Contractions may feel like strong menstrual cramps, gas pains, a backache, or a tightening feeling that comes and goes. Some women feel practice contractions during the last month of pregnancy.
To know if you’re feeling the real thing or if it’s just a warm up for the real thing, try changing your activity. If you have been moving around, lie down or take a bath. If you were asleep, get up and walk. If the contractions continue to come, and are getting longer, stronger, or closer together, it is time to call your doctor or clinic.
Learn more about Your Prenatal Baby: Third Trimester from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links
for additional information on child care and development.