How to recognize the signs of labor - Early labor signs

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I'm Lisa Bernbach for howdini dot-com

any woman who's been pregnant will tell

you those nine months of pregnancy

actually 10 months can really start to

drag in the final days but suddenly the

excitement begins you're going into


where are you how do you know when labor

is really starting and it's not a false

alarm we're here with dr. Keith Edelman

director of obstetrics at Mount Sinai

Hospital in New York where I had at

least three kids that I can remember an

author of two books on pregnancy

including pregnancy for dummies dr.

Edelman thanks for being here thanks for

having me how do you know when you're in


I'm sorry to ask but some people may not

know well it's a really common question

especially for first-time moms one of

the things is you start to have

contractions and they get closer and

closer together they last about 30 to 40

seconds apiece and they become

increasingly stronger the further along

they get and it's sometimes not easy to

tell from the very beginning but if you

have progressively stronger contractions

getting closer and closer together then

it's time to call your doctor now there

are other indicators that you're going

into labor

that might proceed or or follow

contractions right yeah they're a couple

hints the thing is then I'll tell you

when you're gonna go into labor but it

tells you things might be gearing up if

you will things like what we call a

bloody show it's a little bit of blood

with mixed with mucus that comes from

the cervix also a lot of women have an

increase the amount of mucus that comes

out of the cervix it's sometimes called

a mucus plug and then some women feel

like a sudden increase in the pressure

and their lower pelvis which means the

baby's head is descending down into

pelvis so those are three signs that are

sort of you know warning signs if you

will if you're being seen by a doctor

regularly none of this will be a mystery

well in your last few prenatal visits

starting at about 36 weeks your doctor

is gonna start doing internal exams to

check the cervix every week and you'll

get an idea based on those exams whether

or not your cervix is starting to dilate

because a lot of women it slowly dilates

a little bit toward the last few weeks

of pregnancy then when you start to have

regular contractions that dilation

increases more rapidly when

should a pregnant woman in her last days

of pregnancy go to the hospital if she's

not if she doesn't feel the baby kicking

for example is that a telltale sign to

hurry up

absolutely there are really three major

things one is if you have bleeding

bleeding it's more than what we describe

as a bloody show which is usually very

minimal sort of like a period if you

have heavy bleeding go to the hospital

immediately if you don't feel a baby

moving then you should go to the

hospital immediately

or even if you just feel that the baby's

not moving like it was like I haven't

felt the baby move as much today you

should go and then the third thing is if

you are having contractions

usually the pain goes away between the

contractions if it doesn't if you're

still having a lot of pain between

contractions you should go to the

hospital how do you feel about induction

it's a common fallacy that induced labor

is a harder labor than regularly or a

natural labor and that's that's not true

at all the only thing we do with the

medications that we use to induce labor

is to induce a normal labor pattern the

strength of the contractions is the same

the frequency is the same it's using a

synthetic form of the hormone that we

that you make right you just achieve the

situation exactly and it does grow the

way a natural process will absolutely

you start with mild contractions they

are spaced apart you make them more

frequently you make them more strong and

you scream at your husband exactly and

it's just like anything and then you get

your epidural and it's just like a

normal labor okay let's talk about

epidurals I love an epidural in fact I

had one this morning before I got here

no why wouldn't a doctor advise against

an epidural there are only a few

situations for that that would be advise

against in other words if the woman has

some sort of a coagulation disorder or

severely low platelet count then there's

a risk and putting the epidural in but

those are really the only you know times

when I wouldn't recommend an epidural

the overwhelming majority of time women

can't have them and we encourage them I

agree with you I think that pain and

that pain during pregnancy really is not

a necessary thing it should be a happy

process right

right exactly well thank you

much dr. Adelman we'll see you again

soon okay thank you for howdini calm i'm

lisa Bernbach