This is it! The week you are due is finally here! You are probably
impatient for labor to start, but don't be discouraged if you go over
your due date. Only 5% of babies actually arrive on the day they are
You may be afraid you won't recognize that you are in labor, but
usually the signs are unmistakeable.
You may notice the passing of the mucus plug that protected the cervix
during pregnancy. This is called the "show". It's usually blood
tinged, and clear in color. This occurs before labor starts or in the
You may also have the sudden gush of your amniotic sac breaking. This
can also come as a trickle. It should be clear. If you notice that the
fluid is yellow, green or brown, call your doctor and go the hospital
immediately. Your baby may be distress. Your water can break hours
before your labor gets started. However, your doctor probably won't
let you go too long without labor starting once your water has broken.
Contractions, the tightening of the uterus occurs throughout labor.
There are three stages for labor.
The first stage is usually the longest. It's may start off with
infrequent contractions, which increase in strength in frequency.
Your doctor/midwife will have told you when to notify them of your
contractions. Towards the end of the first stage, you will enter
Transition is when you baby is moving into the birth
canal. The second stage begins when you are fully dialated and begin
pushing the baby out. Once your baby is delivered, you may get to hold
her while your doctor checks her over to make sure she is ok. The
umbilicial cord will be clamped and cut.
The third and final stage is
the birth of the placenta. This is usually quick. If you would like to
see or touch it, don't be afraid to ask.
That's it! You're a new mom! Life's greatest adventures and wonders
await you and your new child. Enjoy them all.
Your baby may or may not be engaged in your pelvis at
this point. A lot depends on whether you are a first time
mom, or a repeater. Baby is usually lying with his head
down, and his back against your abdomen. This is
considered the "ideal" position for birth. He will
probably weigh about 7.5 pounds and will be about 22
inches long! Hard to believe how much he's grown these
past nine months, isn't it?