Pregnancy / Childbirth

How do you know that delivery is already close?


Commentary by Halina Biedroń, a midwife, expert on the social and educational campaign 'Midwife for a medal'

Approaching delivery date, for many women stressful situation. Are they worried if they recognize its symptoms in time? According to midwife Halina Biedroń, expert in the campaign "Midwife for a medal", there is no reason to worry. The body sends appropriate signals that allow you to assess whether the zero hour has already arrived.

Prophecy contractions

They appear a few weeks before delivery, they are also called Braxton-Hicks contractions. They are manifested by irregular ache of the lower abdomen, felt most when walking. They disappear when resting or lying down. Predictive contractions are training for the uterus, whose muscle tightens in preparation for real labor contractions that will push the baby when the time comes for delivery.

Lowering the abdomen

3-4 weeks before delivery, the bottom of the uterus is lowered, and the baby's head heads towards the entrance to the birth canal. A sign of this is the lowering of the stomach. The pregnant woman feels easier breathing because pressure on the diaphragm decreases. However, the frequency of urination increases as the uterus pushes the bladder more strongly.

Departure of the mucous plug

The mucous plug acts as a cork that closes the cervical opening. The excreted mucous plug is the result of slow shortening and dilatation of the cervix. It can be watery or jelly-like, bloody, brown or colorless. The expulsion of the mucous plug may occur at one moment or last several days.

Mood changes

A changing mood can also be a sign of an upcoming delivery. At this time, a woman has more energy, enthusiasm to do housework. Increased appetite and even bouts of hunger are also one of the symptoms. The body thus accumulates energy for the upcoming effort.

Regular cramps

Birth contractions are the most reliable symptom of upcoming delivery. Initially, these are lower abdominal and lower back pain. They are short, with longer breaks. After a while, the contractions become stronger and regular every 10 minutes. This signal indicates that it's time to go to the hospital.

Departure of fetal waters

Waters may drain completely or seep slowly. Check their color. Normal is transparent or straw. If the waters are green, go to the hospital as soon as possible. This color means that the child has excreted meconium. The departure of waters can occur without the sensation of contractions, but despite this, it is a sign that labor has begun.

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The main goal of the "midwife for medal" socio-educational campaign is to draw attention to issues related to the need to raise the standards and quality of perinatal care in Poland through education and promotion of good practices. Raising public awareness about the role of midwives in perinatal care is also an important issue.
One of the key elements of the campaign is the competition for the best midwife in Poland. Nominations and votes are made via the website www.poloznanamedal.pl.
This year, the three best midwives will receive the highest number of votes from among the nominated midwives. In addition, the competition will select the three best midwives from individual provinces. Nominations and votes are accepted from April 1 to December 31, 2015.
This is the second edition of the campaign. The substantive patronage was taken by the Supreme Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, Polish Society of Midwives, Fundacja Rodzić po Humku, Stowarzyszenie Dobre Urodzeni and Stowarzyszenie Well Urodzeni and the Edukacjapacjenta.pl portal