Pregnancy - When Labor BeginsIn the last few days of pregnancy, your body is preparing for the final push to bring your baby into the world. Your hormones are in flux, much as during a normal period cycle, so you may start to get some of the usual crankiness and other symptoms you get during your period.
Your abdomen may start to contract, with "Braxton Hicks" contractions as your muscles get prepared for the large pushing effort to come. These may start and stop several times, so don't run off to the hospital just yet. Have your bags packed and things ready, but stay at home as long as you can, where you can relax in quiet and comfort. Only start heading into the hospital when they are every 10 minutes or so, and regular.
At some point in here you will have your cervix release its mucus plug, which has kept your uterus safe from infection. This is a sign that your body is ready to bring the baby into the world. The next sign is breaking your water, when the water that protected the baby during its formation is released.
Stay in touch with your doctor or midwife during these stages, but be patient and let the changes come in their own time. Relish these final signs that your baby is about to enter the world - it is something you will remember for a lifetime! Take this time to pamper yourself, and relax as much as possible.
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