Checklist: Know When You're in Labor, and When to Seek Help - FamilyEducation

Checklist: Know When You're in Labor, and When to Seek Help

How do you know when you've gone into labor and your baby is on the way? Print out this helpful checklist with tips on how you'll know when it's really time!

Tips on How to Know When You're in Labor

When to seek help

Make your way to the hospital or seek advice if any of the following occur:

  • You have vaginal bleeding that is like a period or heavier.
  • You're leaking amniotic fluid or leaking greenish fluid that could indicate the baby is distressed.
  • The baby isn't moving as expected (ask your doctor for advice).

When am I in labor?

A common concern of many women is how they will know when they are in labor. The following are indications that labor is truly underway.

  • You are having contractions that are becoming stronger and more intense, lasting longer, and the interval between the contractions is getting shorter.
  • Changing your position or walking around doesn't ease the intensity of the contraction.
  • The contractions start high in your abdomen and move down through the uterus and lower back, rather than occurring only in the lower abdomen.
  • Your water breaks while you're having contractions.
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An illustrated daily countdown to motherhood, from conception to childbirth and beyond. Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
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