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.
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.
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. A physician is available 24 hours a day and can be reached at 262-544-4411—when calling after office hours, the answering service 1-800-446-3274 will direct your call.