As you enter week 31 of pregnancy, you'll undoubtedly have some questions about what happens just before you go into labour. Don't fret — we've got you covered!
By Dr Tan Shu Qi, Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital
Three sure-fire signs of labour are:
These sensations come in waves, and some women have described them as similar to period cramps, sometimes accompanied by a low backache. Some women may also experience painless contractions. These are known as Braxton Hicks or "practice" contractions, which do not cause the cervix to open.
Induction Of Labour
When the amniotic sac encasing your baby breaks, you may be unsure if you've just urinated. But unlike urine, which comes with a strong smell of ammonia, the amniotic fluid smells slightly sweet.
Once this happens, it's a sign that labour is not far off! In some 80 percent of cases, women with ruptured amniotic membranes will go into labour within 24 hours. Get ready!
No. Many mums-to-be enter maternity wards experiencing contractions every 10 to 30 minutes, only to find that after some hours, the contractions fade. In these cases, it may be a false alarm.
Note from doctor: It may be difficult to know when you are going into labour. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns!
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Read these next
The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore
This article was last reviewed on
Monday, June 28, 2021
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