The media of late has suffered from a very intense condition commonly known as baby fever.
Typically this condition affects women ages 16-death, and its symptoms can include eagerly awaiting the arrival of anyoneâ€™s baby, drooling over newborn products and clothing, babbling nonsense words at miniature human beings (a.k.a newborns), and starting every conversation with the phrase â€œWhen the baby comesâ€¦â€.
Be warned! This condition has been known to sneak up on a person if they are not paying attention. Before you know it, you could have boxes full of baby entertainment devices (toys) that said baby might not get around to using.
For those of you who donâ€™t knowâ€¦
â€¦the royal baby boy was born earlier this week amid much speculation of all things baby. How would the royal baby be born, when would the baby be born, would baby be a boy or girl, what would the height and weight be, what would the baby name be, would the baby have a royal nanny (as is custom)?
All these questions have been pondered and explored in the media throughout the last few weeks as Duchess Kate Middletonâ€™s due date approached. And then, as she went into labor on Monday, the media reached a fever pitch in their reporting, all in front of the hospital where she was in labor.
There is one thing that remains the same for all pregnant women
Fortunately, not all of us have the royal pressure of media watching and reporting our every pregnant move. In fact, most of us do not. However, there is one thing that remains the same for all pregnant women, and that is at some point, they will go into labor.
If you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or know anyone that is or will be pregnant, here are some signs of labor that you may need to watch out for:
The baby drops.
No, Iâ€™m not referring to â€œRock-a-bye baby,â€ which by the way, I think is a horrifying song. This phenomenon is also known as â€œlighteningâ€ and itâ€™s referring to the baby lowering onto the pelvis before labor. This is not a sign of immediate labor because it can happen a few weeks before. However, it does mean that the woman may need to take more potty breaks as the uterus would be resting on the bladder.
The passing of the plug.
The mucus plug, that is. (Thereâ€™s just no way to say that without it sounding icky). The mucus plug is described in Babycenter.com as â€œthe small amount of thickened mucus that has sealed your cervical canal during the last nine months.â€ It can come out all at once or over the course of a few days and is often tinged with red, pink, or brown blood.
The water breaking.
Incidentally, it seems like every movie I see that has a pregnant woman as a character always shows some dramatic water gushing in a public place and everyone around her panics and rushes to the hospital as if the baby will be born in the next 10 minutes. I donâ€™t know how realistic that is, but movies have to be dramatic, I suppose.
In my case, my water broke and I had no idea. It was a slow trickle that I thought nothing of, and my husband and I went out to see a movie. In any case, if your water breaks and you are aware that it broke, you should probably call your doctor (or midwife, or doula, or whomever will assist you in the birth). If labor doesnâ€™t start soon after, you may need to be induced because the baby could get an infection without the amniotic sac to protect him.
As in, labor pains in regular intervals lasting 30 â€“ 70 seconds, but feeling like they last forever. As time goes by, ever so slowly, the contractions will get closer together and get stronger (like Popeye on a spinach high). This can be compared to Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are irregular, do not get stronger, and can stop if you move or change position.
Childbirth preparation classes can help!
If you are pregnant and live in our area, our Birthing Center has a Child Preparation series of classes that review birth preparation, breastfeeding, and newborn care. As a graduate of those classes, I would say they are a wonderful resource. And I actually had my baby before the classes were over, so I was able to go through the breastfeeding class with a live â€œmodelâ€. And that, was exceedingly helpful.
For more information on these classes and other Birthing Center services please call 503-435-6400 ext. 8536. Or, visit us on this website.