38 – 40
the time has come and you are finally ready for
the delivery. By now you and your baby are fully
prepared for delivery. It is time to put together
all your stuff and start packing for your labour
your labour you will be experiencing all the difficulties
that you have been experiencing till 37 weeks.Your
due date is nearing and you must know about what
is true labour and what is false labour.
If properly understood, it will avoid unnecessary
rushes to your doctor even when you are not in
labour and on the other hand may also help you
in seeking timely help when in labour.
You may experience
- It is not associated with regular contraction which
increases in frequency and intensity.
- It is vague and generalized pain and not localized to back
and lower abdomen and around the uterus.
- It can subside if you:
- change position,
- take an enema, or
- go off to sleep, or
- Pain is not associated
- Foetal movements
increase rather than decrease briefly during the
against this "TRUE LABOUR" is characterised
- Pain associated with uterine contractions which increase in
frequency and intensity gradually. Initially this may occur at 10 min – 15 min
interval, lasting for few seconds. But in active labour and at their peak, they may occur
3 – 4 times in 10 minutes and each contraction may last for 30 – 60 seconds.
- Pain and contractions are associated with "SHOW".
Show is the passage of a blood stained mucus clot from your vagina. During pregnancy, the
opening of the uterus (cervix) is closed with a mucus plug. When labour starts, the
opening of the uterus (cervix) dilates and this protective plug is dislodged. This is
mixed with some blood from the dilating cervix and is seen as "SHOW".
- Pain and contractions may be associated with passage of
amniotic fluid if the bag of water ruptures. This is usually clear. If it is red/
greenish/ yellow then it indicates some problem in labour. It has to be reported to your
- The pain and contraction don’t decrease by resting /
walking/enema etc. They keep on increasing as time goes by.
- The pain may begin in the back, lower abdomen or around the
whole uterus and then radiate to the other places, thighs and legs. Though it is not
always a text book pattern and vary from one woman to another in terms of origin,
intensity and spread.
These are the signs that you have to look out for and then
report to your place of delivery.But in case of doubt, or to be on the side of
caution.Better to be safe than sorry!
/ Your Baby Within
As said earlier,the foetal development is complete.
The foetus measuring approxiatmetely 20 " or 50 cms. and weight normally 2.5 –
4.0 kg. Any baby move than 4.5 kg is a large baby and needs investigations and may also
pose some problems during labour. During labour, chemicals called "Prostanords"
are released in you which may reduce your foetal respiratory and body movements.
Body and You
The baby’s head may
have gone in to the pelvis. The head is fixed
and hence the movements seem to be reduced.Your
breathing is much easier and your abdomen may
be feeling slightly lighter.The pressure on you
urinary bladder by the feotal head may cause difficulty
in passing urine or increase in frequency. Sometime
between now and labour, some of you may experience
a sudden increase in the energy levels
This is known
This is in preparation of your child birth. Don’t
waste it by taking extra work and over doing things.
Emotionally, you may have come to terms with your
pregnancy as it is coming in an end. You may be
thinking of the proud moment when you will be
holding the wonderful little one. Or, on the contrary
some of you may be a bit restless and want to
get it over with. It is just natural. It is been
a long journey and you needn’t feel bad about
it.You can blame it on the hormones!
To Your Doctor
The visits to your
doctor will become even more frequent than before.You
may be called at weekly intervals or whenever you
have any problem and when in labour.Your monitoring
and investigation will follow the same lines as
mentioned in the earlier weeks
This is the time
to discuss and clarify various doubts that you have
regarding labour and the other points on your "Birthing
of the common problems that may be seen are:
- PIH (pregnancy included
- Gestational diabetes.
- IUGR (Intra uterine
- Bleeding due to
Placenta praevia (placenta covering the uterine
opening or cervix) or Abruptio placentae (separation
- Premature rupture
of membranes (rupture of membrane before labour).
- Postdatism (pregnancy
going beyond 40 weeks).
- Post maturity (pregnancy
going beyond 42 weeks).
- Caesarian section:
from signs of labour, there are few "alerts" that
should be kept in mind and reported promptly to
- increased blood
with show or frank bleeding,
- yellow, brown or
greenish amniotic fluid leak,
- increased foetal
activity or absent foetal activity,
- Warning signs of
PIH like headache, vomiting, pain in the upper
abdomen on right side or in the center, blurring
of vision, convulsion etc.
discharge without pain.
It is also a wise thing to make a list of things to be
taken to the hospital. This will help you to arrange your packing for labour.
A tentative list can be as follows:
(You may add or delete as per your necessity)
- Books for light reading and may be a book on pregnancy and
after as you may not be able to access us from the hospital.
A pack of cards, radio and a cassette player.
- Still/ Video camera.
- Toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, powder, oil,
perfume, lotion, sanitary napkins, hairbrush, make up kit etc… You need not look
haggard and like a patient when in the hospital.
- A tennis ball or rolling pins to massage your back during
labour to reduce the backache.
- Hard-boiled sweets to prevent you from feeling thirsty.
- Wash cloth and towel for sponging preferably not white or
- Robes nightgown, nursing bra, under clothes, and other
clothes that you may need. Don’t take your best ones as they can get bled on.
- Nappies, clothes, towels and blankets for the little one.
- Change /coins for making phone calls.
- Some snacks and drinks for yourself and those with you.
- And lastly your "SPOUSE" or "LABOUR