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Checklist: Know When You're in Labor, and When to Seek Help

When to seek help

Make your way to the hospital or seek advice if any of the following occur:

  • You have vaginal bleeding that is like a period or heavier.
  • You're leaking amniotic fluid or leaking greenish fluid that could indicate the baby is distressed.
  • The baby isn't moving as expected (ask your doctor for advice).

When am I in labor?

A common concern of many women is how they will know when they are in labor. The following are indications that labor is truly underway.

  • You are having contractions that are becoming stronger and more intense, lasting longer, and the interval between the contractions is getting shorter.
  • Changing your position or walking around doesn't ease the intensity of the contraction.
  • The contractions start high in your abdomen and move down through the uterus and lower back, rather than occurring only in the lower abdomen.
  • Your water breaks while you're having contractions.

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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