How do you know that you are ready to deliver?

While all mothers are mindful of the delivery date, the reality is that most deliveries are often not ‘on time’. What happens when Junior decides to come early? What are some labour signs to look out for? While every birth is different, here are some clues to signal junior’s joyous arrival.

  1. No more Weight Gain – your initial weigh gain starts to tamper off as foetus reaches full development inside you. Some mothers even experience a slight weight loss towards the end of the pregnancy due to lower levels of amniotic fluids, frequent toilet breaks or just increased activity in preparation for junior’s welcome.
  2. Lower back and groin pain – Each woman’s experience is unique with varying levels of pain and discomfort experienced. Don’t worry. While we may not be sure what’s going on, trust that our bodies are intuitively stretching and shifting the relevant muscles, joints and hips in anticipation of junior’s approaching grand entrance.
  3. Foetus ‘drops’ – a few weeks before labour, a natural descend into the pelvis (especially for 1st-time mothers) is a signal that junior is getting into position for his entry into your arms. One sign would be more frequent toilet breaks as the foetus’s head is pushing down into your bladder. I remember keeping my bladder empty cos a cough or a sneeze would sometimes ‘release’ a squirt of pee onto my panties.
  4. Diarrhoea – Ligaments around the pelvis loosen up as nature’s way of opening up a passageway for an easier journey into the world. Our rectum muscles, likewise also loosen up, leading to possible experiences of uncontrollable watery stools. While not every mother experiences this, stay hydrated and wear a smile knowing ‘this too will pass.’ 
  5. Contractions – the best way to describe this is pain similar to menstrual cramps in your lower abdomen area or the urge to poo. Contractions are the squeezing of the muscles in a gradual build-up in intensity (from bearable to ouch! to argh!!) and duration(longer periods). From ‘warm-ups’ to regular intervals of pressure, to intense tightenings. Look out because more ‘painful practise sessions’ signal the end is near. A change in position does NOT seem to alleviate the pain, because these are the clearest signs that the body is getting ready to birth junior!
  6. Water breaks – experienced as a flood of fluid that involuntarily gushes out of your vaginal. Definitely NOT pee. That’s your water-bag breaking! As the amniotic fluid drains, Junior has to exit soon! Thank goodness my waterbed has always been broken at the hospital to induce cervical dilation. So, while it’s a final sign of labour, you won’t have to wait for it to burst before admitting yourself.    

Thankfully, we live in a developed country where regular gynea checkups mean we get progressive updates on what’s going on. 

Besides preparing junior’s bedroom/crib/nursery, do pack an overnight bag of toiletries, clothes, necessities and even luxuries (my friend brought a mask to pamper herself in the hospital) in event of a sudden early arrival! 

The truth is, your partner may not know what you need/want, so take responsibility by bringing things you enjoy. A book to distract you, your favourite sudoku puzzle, moisturiser, or your favourite playlist of songs to enjoy at the hospital. Trust me, it saves lots of unnecessary miscommunication when you’re in the middle of something as major as a child-birth. After you’ve prepared what you can remember to enjoy the experience. Fact is, we don’t have many of these beautiful, life-changing moments. Savour it in its entirety. 

About Author

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Junia Tan
General Manager of SG Baby Club
Mother of 5 amazing kids (14yrs, 10yrs, 8yrs, 6yrs & 3yrs)
Subscribe to youtube “Modern Asian Mother” for parenting tips.

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