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Signs of Labor

Frequently Asked Labor Questions

When should I expect to go into labor?
Labor normally starts when your baby is full grown or as we call it “term.” This can be as early as two weeks before your due date to as late as two weeks after your due date. If labor begins earlier than two weeks ahead of your due date, your baby can be born too early or premature. If it doesn’t happen until later than two weeks after your due date, your baby can be born overdue or post maturely.
How will I know that I'm in labor?

Labor occurs when your uterus begins to tighten over and over again in an effort to push the baby out. This tightness or contractions are usually felt at the back and spread over the whole belly area. They last from about 45 to 60 seconds and occur about every 10 to 20 minutes. After an hour or two, these contractions usually become stronger and closer together.

Sometimes a small amount of thick blood streaked mucous may come from the cervix, through the vagina during labor. This mucous plug is normal. Some women experience a sudden gush or slow leaking of clear fluid (amniotic fluid) from their vagina. This is the liquid that has surrounded and cushioned the baby so far. Usually, this fluid is forced out toward the end of labor, but sometimes it occurs earlier. You should call your doctor if this happens to you.

What is false labor?

These are pains that are often felt in the low belly which don’t follow a regular time pattern or become more intense over time. They usually go away in a few hours. Often times if you lay down on your side for about an hour and drink a large glass of water, they will go away.

What should I do if I'm really in labor?

First, use a clock to check how far apart the contractions are and how long they last. When they are strong and occurring about 10 minutes apart, call us and we will tell you the best time to go to the hospital. 24 hours a day a physician can be reached at 262-544-4411, when calling after office hours the answering service 1-800-446-3274 will direct your call.

What if I'm supposed to have a cesarean section?
Let us know as soon as your labor begins, since you will need to get to the hospital very soon and we will want to be ready for surgery when you arrive.
What are the warning signs in labor that tell me I need to call the doctor or go to the hospital as soon as possible?
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Rupture of membranes (bag of water)

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