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Before childbirth: mental and physical state, harbingers of childbirth
Before childbirth: mental and physical state, harbingers of childbirth

Women expecting a baby experience a variety of feelings. This is excitement and joy, self-doubt, expectation of changes in the usual way of life. By the end of pregnancy, there is also fear caused by the fear of missing an important moment of the onset of labor.

So that the state before childbirth does not turn into a panic, the expectant mother needs to carefully monitor her well-being. There are certain signs that indicate the imminent appearance of the long-awaited baby.

What are the harbingers of childbirth

Immediately after conception, a woman's hormonal background begins to change. In large quantities, the body produces progesterone - a hormone that is responsible for maintaining pregnancy. And in the last stages, the aging of the placenta occurs, which significantly reduces the production of progesterone. Against the background of such changes, the body begins to produce another hormone - estrogen,the main function of which is to prepare the body of the expectant mother for childbirth.

When the level of such hormones reaches a maximum, the brain receives a certain signal that contributes to the onset of labor. The change in hormones causes certain changes in the state of the pregnant woman.

Before childbirth, certain symptoms appear that indicate the imminent appearance of a baby. These are the harbingers of the long-awaited birth. The above changes begin to occur in a woman's body at the 32nd week of pregnancy. A woman can feel the harbingers of childbirth starting from the 36th week.

harbingers of childbirth
harbingers of childbirth

Changing the cervix

The state of the cervix before childbirth is changing, it is maturing. As a result of morphological changes, the connective tissue softens, which makes the neck soft, pliable and easily extensible. There are three degrees of maturity of this body:

  • immature - the neck is long, dense, the external pharynx is either closed or passes only the tip of the finger;
  • not mature enough - the cervix is slightly softened, shortened, the cervical canal passes one finger (in nulliparous to a closed internal os);
  • mature - the cervix is smoothed and shortened as much as possible, softened, centered, the cervical canal easily passes one finger.

The whole process of childbirth and their successful completion depend on the state of the cervix.

Fetal activity

Of course, a pregnant woman is concerned about the question: what is the state of the baby inside before childbirth? By the end of pregnancy, the fetusreaches its maturity: gaining the desired weight (about three kilograms), the organs are formed and ready for extrauterine existence.

The uterus has already stopped growing by this time, so the baby becomes cramped in it. This leads to the fact that the child inside moves less. At the 34-36th week, the expectant mother notices that the baby has begun to roll over less, and from the 36th week she may feel that small movements become less frequent, but they are very noticeable, and there are also pain in the places of poking with arms or legs.

Main harbingers of childbirth

The state of a woman before childbirth undergoes some psychological and physiological changes, indicating to the mother that she will soon see the long-awaited baby. In order not to miss anything important and not to harm herself and the baby, a woman should know the main signs of an imminent onset of labor.

mental state before childbirth
mental state before childbirth

Their main harbingers are as follows:

  • Weight loss. Almost all pregnant women testify that the weight before the onset of childbirth stabilizes or decreases by 0.5-2 kilograms. This is due to a decrease in edema and the excretion of excess fluid from the body by the kidneys. So the body begins to adapt to the fact that the tissues are better stretched, become plastic and flexible. Thanks to the work of hormones designed to remove all unnecessary, the intestines are cleansed. Therefore, a woman may experience abdominal pain and frequent urination.
  • Loss of appetite. Simultaneously with the loss of excess weight in a pregnant woman, theor completely lost appetite. This is a normal state before childbirth, you do not need to force yourself to eat by force.
  • Lower belly. This is one of the main harbingers of childbirth. A child two or three weeks before an important event sneaks closer to the exit. As a result, abdominal tone decreases, it becomes easier for a woman to breathe.
  • The appearance of the duck walk. This harbinger of childbirth is directly related to the previous one. The baby sinks down the abdomen, so the pressure on this part of the body increases. It becomes difficult for the expectant mother to sit down, get up, she is tormented by pain and stretching in the lower back.
  • Frequent urination. It is caused by overworked kidneys and pressure in the bladder area.
  • Restless sleep. The condition of a woman before childbirth becomes alarming, sleep becomes restless. This is caused not only by emotional experiences, but also by ongoing changes in the body. Due to the fact that the baby begins to actively move at night, pressure on the bladder increases, which provokes the urge to urinate. This is what causes sleep disturbance in a pregnant woman.
  • Diarrhea. Due to the prolapse of the abdomen, there is pressure on the intestines. The expectant mother notices the urge to defecate. Constipation is replaced by diarrhea. It is she who is the harbinger of the approaching birth. Often, pregnant women confuse this harbinger with poisoning or intestinal upset.
  • Change in pain. Throughout pregnancy, a woman may feel slight back pain. Before childbirth, pain is observed in the pubic part. This is due to the softening of the bones, which is importantfactor for normal labor activity.
a few days before giving birth
a few days before giving birth

Plug release

Towards the end of pregnancy, the cervix matures: it shortens, softens, the cervical canal opens slightly. Inside the cervical canal there is thick mucus, the main function of which is to prevent the penetration of harmful microorganisms into the uterus that can cause infection of the fetus. This mucus is called the mucus plug.

As mentioned above, by the end of pregnancy, the body begins to produce estrogens, which affect the general well-being of the expectant mother and her condition before childbirth. A few days before the onset of labor (three to ten), under the influence of hormones, liquefaction and expulsion of mucus from the cervical canal occurs.

Mucus plug looks like a small lump of transparent or yellowish color, it may have streaks of blood. The mucus plug can come off in parts over several days. Pregnant women are usually unable to determine the discharge of the mucous plug on their own.

Sometimes a future mother has doubts - a cork comes off or amniotic fluid leaks. The leakage of water will be constant, such discharge is transparent in color (may be with a yellowish or greenish tint) and watery. The cork leaves in portions, the discharge is thicker and disappears after a few days.

If a pregnant woman doubts whether a cork is coming off or water is leaking, then you should not hesitate and contact a gynecologist.

False contractions

This is trainingcontractions that may disturb a woman a few weeks before the date of the expected birth. They are caused by the body's overproduction of the hormone oxytocin. The role of false contractions is to prepare the myometrium for childbirth. Such contractions do not lead to the development of labor activity, they do not affect the general condition before childbirth. Signs of training contractions are:

  • they are not regular or intense;
  • differ from real ones in relative painlessness and a rest interval between contractions with an interval of thirty minutes;
  • appear 4-6 times a day (mostly in the morning or evening), last no more than two hours.

A pregnant woman feels false contractions as hardening of the abdomen in response to fetal movement or any physical activity. To relieve tension, you should relax, take a warm bath and get a massage.

condition of a pregnant woman before childbirth
condition of a pregnant woman before childbirth

The difference between false contractions and real ones

The main difference between false labor contractions and true labor contractions is the gradual increase of the latter, followed by a reduction in the interval between them. Labor pains are stronger, brighter, more painful. If training bouts lack regularity, then with real ones it is mandatory.

The main purpose of labor pains is to open the cervix, so no matter what a pregnant woman does, they will only intensify. False contractions can be weakened or completely removed discomfort.

Escape of waters

The most striking and alarming sign that a pregnant womanit is urgent to go to the hospital, is the outpouring of amniotic fluid. Such an event can occur simultaneously with contractions. Normally, the water should be clear and odorless. The presence of red discharge may indicate placental abruption. All waters can leave at once, but leakage is possible. In the latter case, put a pad on and see a doctor.

Some women confuse water leakage with involuntary urination, which can occur intermittently in late pregnancy. The difference in these processes is the absence of the smell of urine in the waters and their transparent color. If the water is greenish, yellow or brown, see a doctor as soon as possible.

The mood of the expectant mother

The emotional state before childbirth in pregnant women also changes. The mood can be joyful and cheerful, but suddenly sadness-sadness suddenly rolls over or starts to irritate everything. This is due primarily to the fatigue of a pregnant woman, with a long wait and natural excitement. The mom-to-be can't wait to give birth.

Affect this state of a woman before childbirth endocrine processes occurring in the body. An interesting fact is that a few weeks before the birth, the expectant mother has a desire to put the apartment in order and establish comfort in the house. Psychologists call this condition "nesting syndrome." A woman with enviable zeal begins to equip her “nest”, create comfortable conditions for living with a baby: clean, wash, clean, hem, etc.

preparation forchildbirth
preparation forchildbirth

What is the state before the first birth

Primparous women experience more worries and anxieties about the upcoming event. They may not be aware of the harbingers and may not pay attention to the main symptoms of the approaching birth. For women who are preparing to become a mother for the first time, the harbingers may appear in three weeks, or may be in a day. The condition of a woman before childbirth depends on the reaction of the body to the changes taking place. There are no specific dates and intervals here.

Primparous women should remember that there may be several signs of approaching the onset of labor, it is not at all necessary that they all appear. Due to her inexperience, a pregnant woman may simply not notice them.

It is important to carefully monitor your condition before childbirth, pay attention to the slightest changes in time and report them to your gynecologist.

Harbingers of childbirth in multiparous women

The mental state before childbirth in women who have survived childbirth is much more stable. Their body clearly reacts to the ongoing changes, and the precursors appear brighter. This is because the uterus has changed and enlarged after a previous birth. The exception is women who had their first birth by caesarean section. This is because the cervix does not stretch as the baby does not pass through it.

Women who are already mothers during a new pregnancy pay attention to the severity of prenatal symptoms. They clearly monitor the physiological state before childbirth. Signs (in multiparous women)the approach of childbirth and their severity have differences in the course of some processes:

  • The plug is larger.
  • False contractions start earlier.
  • Belly drops at a later date.
  • Possible heavy vaginal discharge.

When to go to the hospital

So, which pre-delivery condition requires immediate hospitalization? First of all, it should be said that all pregnant women in the last weeks of pregnancy should be ready for an emergency trip to the hospital. Therefore, it is necessary to collect in advance an “alarming suitcase”, documents and carry out the necessary hygiene procedures (shave hair and remove varnish from nails).

medical examination
medical examination

Emergency situations that require an immediate call for an ambulance are:

  • outflow of water (especially against the background of the absence of other signs of the onset of labor);
  • appearance of spotting;
  • pressure surge;
  • the appearance of a sharp pain in the lower abdomen;
  • severe headache, flickering flies, blurred vision;
  • no fetal movement for six hours;
  • beginning of regular labor activity (two or three contractions in ten minutes).

What week is the due date

There is a concept that the baby should be born at the fortieth week of pregnancy. But only three percent of children are born on a precisely specified date. Usually a woman gives birth before or slightly after the due date.

It is considered normal if the pregnancy continues280-282 days. Premature births are considered at 28-37 weeks. Each additional week increases the chance of a he althy baby.

Term babies successfully adapt to new living conditions. Therefore, if there is a threat of termination of pregnancy, it is necessary to urgently go to the clinic and go to hospital.

There are cases when a woman "steps over" pregnancy, that is, gives birth after the due date. In this case, the pregnancy is called post-term or prolonged. In the first case, the baby after birth shows signs of postmaturity. With prolonged pregnancy, such signs are absent in the newborn, the baby is born he althy.

before childbirth
before childbirth

It is not at all necessary that every pregnant woman will have all of the above symptoms before the start of labor. Moreover, you should not wait for their simultaneous appearance. The intensity of the precursors and the state before childbirth depend on the body's response to ongoing hormonal changes and on the number of previous births.

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