How To Spot The Signs Of True Labor

Pregnancy is a time full of wonder and excitement. Each stretch mark, every minute of morning sickness, and each ache and pain are worth it for the chance to produce a healthy baby. For first time moms, there are often many questions that come up during the nine long months they are pregnant.

One of those questions is usually, "Is this true labor or my body playing tricks on me again?" This guide goes over the different ways to spot the signs of real labor:

Cervix Changes

During the last few months of your pregnancy, you will be meeting with your OB-GYN quite often. They may perform physical exams to see if your body is preparing for labor. One of the tests is done to see if the cervix is starting to dilate. It is measured in centimeters, with ten centimeters being the end result when the cervix is fully dilated.

Many women will be one to three centimeters dilated during the weeks leading up to the labor. Contractions put pressure on the cervix and make it dilate more. If you are having steady contractions but your cervix isn't changing, it is typically a sign of false labor.


The contractions themselves can say a lot about whether it is true or false labor. Contractions that are steady and frequent are usually a sign that labor is starting. It is a good idea to time each of your contractions, starting with when they begin, how long they last, and when they end. By doing this you can tell if there is a pattern or if they are random and most likely false labor.

Physical Signs

There are two physical signs that are pretty obvious signs of true labor. The first is the appearance of bloody show, which is a piece of mucus that is used to block the cervix during pregnancy. It is called bloody show because it is usually tinged with blood. Another sign is when your water breaks. This one is trickier because it doesn't always kick start labor but most doctors usually like to deliver a baby within 24 hours of a bag of waters breaking.

It is also tricky because it may just develop a slow leak and you don't realize it is happening. Doctors have a special test that is done to detect whether your bag of waters is leaking or if it is another type of fluid.

When to See the Doctor

As a nervous pregnant mommy-to-be, you may often get the urge to rush to the doctors for many things. When you are in labor, it is always a good idea to see the doctor if any of the following takes place: pain in the back, abdomen, or pelvic area or if you have at least six contractions per hour.

For more help, contact a company like Bayview OB GYN Women's Care Florida to learn more.