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  Signs of Labor

Many expectant mothers worry about how they will know when their labor is imminent. While it is impossible to say exactly when you will give birth, there are certain indicators that the labor period will shortly begin. Remember to have an overnight bag packed with clothing and ready to go in case your labor begins suddenly. You will want to pack comfortable, loose fitting maternity clothing for your hospital stay and the trip home. Please visit our product pages for all your maternity wear needs including skirts, sweaters, t-shirts and shirts .

One of the most common and easy to identify signs of impending labor is a process known as "Lightening". Lightening occurs when the baby settles deeper into the pelvic area. This is not a uniform feeling in that some women will find the feeling to be quite obvious while others may not even notice it at all. Lightening may occur weeks before the birth for a first time pregnancy and generally occurs within days (or sometimes hours) of subsequent pregnancies. The positive side of Lightening is an increased lung capacity which enables you to breathe more easily. Negative side effects include increased urination and discomfort in the pelvic area.

Some women experience bursts of energy, referred to as "Nesting", weeks or more commonly days before labor. This is your natural instincts kicking in and telling you to prepare for your baby. You may also have increased cramping and diarrhea as your labor approaches. This is caused by hormonal changes and usually occurs during early labor.

During your last trimester, you have probably experienced "Braxton Hicks contractions". These are painless contractions and are your body's way of practicing for the actual delivery contractions. As your labor period nears, these contractions may get stronger and more painful. Eventually they will turn into actual contractions and your labor has begun. False labor is an extremely common occurrence as it is sometimes hard to differentiate between the different kinds of contractions. There is no shame in contacting your healthcare professional if you are not sure whether your labor is beginning or not.

There are some ways to tell the difference between false labor and the real thing. Real contractions are generally spaced at regular 5 minute intervals (as the labor period begins) and last anywhere from 35 to 75 seconds while false contractions are erratic. False labor contractions can sometimes be stopped through a change in activity such as taking a walk or lying down. If you are feeling the contractions exclusively in the lower abdomen, you are probably experiencing false contractions. Real contractions are felt in the entire abdomen and lower back.

If you are not at a hospital when your water breaks, immediately contact your healthcare provider regardless of the regularity of your contractions. Even if labor has not yet begun, your doctor may want to induce labor rather then run the risk of infection.

During your pregnancy, you will of course want to stay as comfortable as possible while also looking your best. Lilo Maternity can help with our wide range of comfortable yet practical clothing. Visit our home page and choose the style, fabric type and color that best suits your needs.

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