Labor Symptoms

You’ve eagerly anticipated the birth of your baby, but the early signs of labor can often be confusing.

We’ve provided the following suggestions to help you recognize labor.

Pre-Labor Signs

  • Backache -- These aches may come and go for a few days before or along with other signs of labor.
  • Frequent soft bowel movements
  • Loss of mucus plug -- Your mucus plug may loosen and be released in late pregnancy as the cervix begins to thin (efface).
  • Menstrual-like cramps -- These cramps may be intermittent or constant.
  • Nesting urge -- This is a sudden need to make your home ready for the baby.

Labor Signs

  • Contractions -- Labor contractions are regular (every 5-10 minutes for 1 hour) and are strong enough to keep you from walking or talking. These should only last 60-70 seconds. While you are resting, either seated or lying down, time your contractions from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next.
  • Bloody show -- This is a small amount of bleeding from the vagina.
  • Rupture of membranes -- This might be a large gush or small leak that continues to trickle from the vagina.

If you have any of these signs, notify your physician or call our Labor & Delivery department at 918-274-5400 and talk to one of our nurses.

Warning Signs

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Sharp abdominal pain that does not subside
  • Fever (over 100 degrees)
  • Smelly vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Bad headache
  • Excessive swelling
  • Baby moves less than usual

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call your physician immediately.