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Health Tip: Countdown to Childbirth

Signs you're approaching labor

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDayNews) -- If you're in the last month of your pregnancy, signs that you are approaching labor could begin at any time, according to the University of Arkansas Medical Center.

Here are some signs that labor may be near:

  • The baby "drops" or moves deeper into the pelvis.
  • The mucous plug comes away.
  • Increase in vaginal secretions.
  • Low backache, and discomfort in your legs.
  • Irregular (Braxton-Hicks) contractions.
  • Nesting instinct.
  • Weight loss of one to three pounds.
  • Diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.
  • Spurt of energy.

Generally, you should go to the hospital when your contractions are 5 minutes apart and last 60 seconds for more than an hour. If your water breaks, call your doctor right away.


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