How do you know your in labour?


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May 19, 2008
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I know that may sound a stupid question, but seriously, how do you know your in labour? or about to!

The only reason i ask is that i always thought once your waters break you go into labour but i have read some people's waters don't break till late on in labour etc

I want to know what to look out for

is there different sort of pains i will experience?
the pain comes in waves and it feels like your constipated and you also feel alot more pressure in your pelvic area, thats what it felt like to me anyway someone else will probley explain better :)
My contractions started honey - and I just *knew* - you can't miss it!

Valentine Xxx
Hiya babes, before I went into labour my body had a complete clean out if you know what I mean :wink: I started having period type pains which gradually got more sore and more frequent and thats when I realised I was in labour (I actually sat having a meal for a friends birthday while my contractions were 4 mins apart :lol: ). My waters didnt break until 10 mins before Maddison arrived :hug: :hug: :hug:
My waters broke first but i didnt get any contractions till about 2 hours later.
They started off as an achey period pain type of feeling which at first i dismissed. Then i noticed that the pain was getting increasingly more painful and in a wave. Like the pain starts quite bearable then goes up to a peak which eventually got :shock: and then it fades away.

I had been having BHs for a week before and i definately knew that it was labour. So even if my waters hadnt gone i would have still known IYKWIM :)

I was 8 days over and hadn't really had any signs - had BH and a bit of a show but that had been going on for about a week. The night before contractions started i had real trouble sleeping, just could not get off at all. Then i got a pain the next afternoon which was across the front of my belly which felt like when you need to go to the loo, a crampy feeling - as someone else said it was kinda like pains you get when constipated! I wasnt sure at first if it was contractions until i'd had a few and they started coming regularly around 5 mins apart. Other people have described it as period pains or back pains so i guess it can be different for different people. My waters didnt go til much later on in hospital
With Tia I woke up with excruciating pains that came every 2 to 3 minutes and were nothing like I'd felt before.

And with lil miss my waters popped and within a couple of hours I started getting pain that got worse and worse...

I know its a hackneyed phrase but you will know when you are in labour... or when the baby's on its way... :lol:
Mine started with period type pains that gradually got worse.

I knew i was in labour because they just kept coming and getting worse each time :hug: :hug:
I didn't really have any 'signs' at all. I woke at around 2am feeling a bit moist down there, had a feel and something running down my leg, woke OH and in the time it took him to get from the bed to the light switch I was in a pool of my waters!

Contractions started about 45 mins later like dull period pains every 8mins with tightenings, and within and hour they had built up to 4 mins apart.
My waters didn't break until late on. The contractions started and came in waves about 10 mins aprt for a couple of hours and then got closer together - it is just a different type of pain to anything else. I had a back to back labour so it was all in my back, and felt like period pains at the start, and I could feel my tummy going tight. It was so unlike anything else I knoew it was the start. My plug came away a couple of days before.
as the others had said you will NO when your in labour as its a different pain to anything you've felt before. it only lasts for minutes then you feel fine again, then it comes back. and they just get longer and closer together. Id been in agony for nearly two days before they broke my waters.

I knew my contractions had started when i had a dull pain every 15mins, lasted literally 10secs if that, hardly noticeable i just knew they were contractions because it was a sort of pain id never felt before.

I think its too hard to describe unless you've actually experienced it so dont worry hun you'll soon find out! :wink: :hug:
I had really bad crampy pains (i thought it was the castor oil going through me to start with) which camr regularly and my bump was hard throughout.

The hard bump was how we knew they were contractions, though you do go hard with BH's too but they were never painful for me just uncomfortable.
Honestly i was never very sure, i kept "leaking" but my mum said it couldnt be because it was to early and to go back to bed.

I kept having pains in my back, not realy sore just annoying so i couldnt sleep.

By the time i convinced mum i should go to hospital it was 6am and i had him at 8.

No real pain, no blood no gush of fluid just kinda damp all the time.

Wonder if ill have such an easy time with this one :pray:
To be honest at the very begining you probably dont know but as time goes on you will just start to get a feeling of 'is this it'.
Pain tends to come in waves and gets worse with each contraction, you will just know when your in true labour :) x
I knew I was in labour when the contraction was so uncomfortable that
1. I lost concentration during the contraction and couldn't talk to people properly
2. I found I had to "breathe" my way through the contraction

and also as others have said, they come regularly every few minutes.

My waters didn't go until the middle of labour.

It sounds stupid but I didn't know I was in 'proper' labour until I was being rushed to the delivery suite at 10cm and pushing!

That's not to say that I hadn't been feeling contractions or been in pain- I had- I just got fixated on the fact that my waters hadn't broken and that I'd not had much of a show so I must just be experienceing very strong warm up contractions! :rotfl:

Looking back, my labour started with discomfort at the base of my back which came and went even though I hadn't changed position. That was about 5pm. I was up and walking around until well after 8pm just stopping every now and again to let a contraction pass (It sounds rediculous that I didn't think this was labour! What an idiot!) By about half eight I was struggling to focus on anyone else as I had to stop to concentrate on breathing through a contraction- not massively painful at this point but I did want space to myself. For the next 2 hours the pains increased and I was having to moan to get through the pain. Pressure was the next thing I felt and the urge to push- my waters still hadn't gone!

I guess what I'm trying to say in my very long-winded way is that labour feels different for everyone and the sequence of events can be different- the one uniting factor is the regularity of the contractions and the inability to talk through them. Good luck for whrn it;s your turn sweetie! :hug:
My waters had to be broke for me everytime! They have never gone on their own!? :(
With my first I got pains/ contractions all day and regular! Not so painful to begin with but every half hour or so! Then as the day went on they got stronger and closer in time thats when I knew for sure I was in labour!
I also just knew, even though the pain was very mild to start with - although I was a week overdue and had had no signs at all ever, including BHs so I knew that something was happening and it wasn't a false alarm! Then I had a clearout too that confirmed it and I went to the hospital about an hour later. My waters didn't break until quite near the end.
My mum described it as an "unfamiliar pain" which I thought was a good description.

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