Health Tips from a Mother of Three

3 Symptoms You May Experience During Early Labor

While pain is an obvious thing that all women experience during labor, you may or may not be aware of some of the other symptoms that can occur in early labor. Here are 3 symptoms to be aware of so that you do not feel alarmed if you experience them.

Uterine Cramping

One thing that some women experience before or during labor is cramping in the uterus. This is a similar feeling to menstrual cramps, and the feeling can occur in the front of the uterus and in the lower back.

This feeling can persist on its own, or it can occur with contractions. Either way, the feeling is normal and is not a bad sign. It may just be helping your uterus to get ready to deliver the baby.

The Urge to Have a Bowel Movement

Second, you may also feel the urge to push or have a bowel movement. This comes from the baby pushing down on your cervix, and you may feel like you need to use the restroom more often in early labor. 

As long as your contractions are not close together yet, you should try to use the restroom and to relieve some of the pressure. If you use the restroom but still feel the pressure, but this will tell you that the baby is getting closer to the second stage of labor when he or she will make the way through the birth canal.

In addition, your bladder may be weaker because the baby will be resting on it. If you are at home during early labor, stay close to the bathroom or wear a pad so that you do not leak. If you are at the hospital, you may be able to get a catheter so that you do not have to worry about leaking.

Lung Tightening

Lastly, when you have contractions, your lungs may feel tight or like they are not getting enough air. This can happen through a contraction as all of the muscles contract together. The feeling will pass during a contraction or as it ends, so do not be afraid that you are losing the ability to breathe.

To help this feeling, try to lengthen your torso so that your ribs are above your uterus and baby. You may be able to take some of the pressure off of your lungs by doing so.

These 3 symptoms can occur during labor, and now you will know how to handle them in the event that they occur. Talk to an obstetrician for more information.