1. True labor contractions
True labor pain is one the first signs of real contraction (tanda bersalin semakin awal). During the third trimester, there will be 2 types of contractions that a pregnant woman can experience. True labor contractions and false labor contractions. Women most often mistake false labor contractions for true labor contractions but both are completely different and can distinguish from each other.
True labor contractions occur with the onset of labor, it will cause painful contractions that start weak and gradually increase. The contractions will be regular and involuntary. True labor contractions will start infrequently which occur every 10-20 minutes, weak contractions on short duration for 10-20 seconds. It will gradually increase in frequency, intensity and duration until the contractions recur every few minutes and last from one to two minutes. The painful contractions can be felt from the abdomen and the back.
False labor contractions or also known as Braxton-Hicks contractions is an intermittent uterine contraction which is usually not painful. It is a normal part of pregnancy and can occur during the third trimester or as early as the second trimester. Braxton-Hicks contractions are usually irregular at long intervals and remain the same intensity. Mostly false labor pain are recorded as discomfort around the abdomen.
Lightening means a relief of upper abdominal pressure symptoms such as difficulty breathing, palpitation and indigestion. It can also be known as baby “dropping”. During this process, the pelvic floor muscles become relaxed and soften, allowing the uterus to descend further into the pelvis. A person might have increased frequency in urination and might experience increased vaginal discharge during this time.
3. Cervical dilatation
There are 2 processes that occur during cervical dilatation which are effacement and dilatation of the external os. Effacement is the process in which the cervix gets shorter and thinner in order to be able to stretch and open around the baby’s head.
At the start of the process, dilatation of the cervix is slow and will only dilate until 3 cm and may last about 6-8 hours. Gradually, the dilatation will be more rapid and the cervix will dilate at the rate of one to one and a half centimeters per hour until the cervix dilates at 10cm.
4. The show
The show or the bloody show is the passing of mucus tinged with blood. The mucus is known as a mucus plug which was formed by cervical glands which secrete mucus and it accumulates in the cervix. When the cervix starts to dilate the mucus is discharged into the vagina. It might be clear, pink or tinged with blood.
5. Water breaking
Water breaking is without a doubt one of the most definite signs of labor. Water breaking or also known as rupture of the amniotic sac. Some women can experience this phenomenon as a gush of water fluid and some might experience leaking trickles of fluid.
6. Low back pain
Back pain is one the symptoms and signs that your body is preparing for delivery. As the labor nears, pain in the back and groin will become frequent. It is due to the loosening of the muscle and joints for the preparation of delivery.
7. Loosening of the joints
The body will release relaxin hormones which loosens the joint and ligament. Some might experience the joints feeling more relaxed. It’s a way to prepare the pelvis for delivery.
Diarrhea can occur due to the relaxation of the muscle all over the body including the muscles in the rectum. It can also mean 1 or 2 days from the start of labor.
9. Losing weight
Losing weight during the final stage of pregnancy is a normal occurrence as pregnant mothers will lose weight due loss of amniotic fluid and increase frequency of urination. But not to worry as it does not affect the baby’s birth weight.