Prodrome of labor: what are they about?

When the birth is approaching, all the signs seem to point towards that expected moment. Discomfort, pain and contractions will be interpreted as indicators of the proximity of the birth. And in variety and intensity, the future mother may mistake actual labor for prodromes.

Especially if the mother is new, distinguishing that she is facing labor as such requires the specialized care of the professional. This is due to the frequency of cases of false labor in hospitals. In this article we help you to know and recognize the prodrome.

What are prodrome of labor?

As the name implies, the prodomos (from the Greek pro, which means 'before' and dromes, 'Track' or 'route') are signs announcing the birth. They are accompanied by preparatory, irregular contractions of varying intensity, sometimes not very painful, that pass after a few minutes with rest or a change of position.

They disappear to present again indefinitely and for up to 2 weeks before delivery occurs. The amount can increase as they do their real job: modifying the cervix.

The cervix or cervix is ​​closed and measures approximately 3 centimeters. When contractions occur, the uterus softens, shortens, and dilates. It is what is known as effacement. The dilation phase can reach up to 2 centimeters in diameter of the structure.

Non-labor contractions prepare the cervix for the time of delivery itself.

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What are the symptoms of prodromal labor?

In the field of contractions, there are those of pregnancy and those of childbirth. In those of pregnancy, those of Braxton Hicks, which appear from week 20, and prodromes at term are known. Those of dilation, on the other hand, are part of the contractions that do lead to actual labor.

With prodromes, significant changes begin to occur in the cervix., where the baby will come out. The descent and accommodation of his head or fitting in the canal will be a determining sign. That is why the discomfort is located in the lower abdominal area and even in the groin.

Prodrome of labor do not have a definite onsetHowever, they are accompanied by the increase and frequency in the intensity of the contractions. Vaginal discharge increases, the periodicity of urination and sometimes the mucous plug is expelled.

The prodromes have an estimated duration of 30 seconds, every 5 to 20 minutes. Although they are present, the mother can lead her normal life. If it rests, they distance themselves. By the way, they will not suppress your appetite.

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How can it be differentiated from actual labor?

False labor or contractions from Braxton hicks, also called weak, are the first to manifest, well cause discomfort. They are regularly painless. TThey have a variable intensity and a frequency less than 1 every 10 minutes.

These contractions appear from or even before week 20 and encompass a large extension of the uterine muscle. Sometimes in times of stress or fatigue, always in a messy way.

TOAt the end of pregnancy they produce moderate pain in the hypogastrium, which is specifically what is known as false labor. They are not cause for alarm; rather, they indicate that the body is preparing to give birth because They help soften the cervix.

The difference lies in the intensity and regularity, but also in the week of appearance. Real labor contractions last around 1 minute and usually repeat every 3 minutes increasing their strength. And if they distance themselves, they will do so at a regular rate.

But there is something that makes the definitive difference: With actual labor contractions the mother cannot do anything else; Your entire body, sometime between weeks 37 and 40, will be focused on the birthing experience.

Oxytocin, a hormone that is also released in orgasm and lactation, when breaking waters is stimulated by the distension of the uterus and irrigates the mother's bloodstream. Going even to defy the sentence of "You will give birth in pain".

The pain of contractions, both false and those that lead to real labor, are variable based on the sensitivity of the woman.

Recognizing prodrome of labor will help you calm anxiety

It is important to note that the prodrome they don't have to take the mother to the hospital all at once, well yet they can separate you from labor for hours or even days. The expulsion of the uterine mucus, whitish or pink by some residual blood, can stain the underwear one or several days before delivery.

On the other hand, the mother feels as if to menstruate or strong pressure on the pelvis. RRegular or not, the prodromes are spaced between 5 to 20 minutes. Unless you are a month or more away from your due date, you must go to the hospital. If this is not the case, it is best to spend them at home.

Indeed, waiting for the regular rhythm of contractions requires serenity, controlled breathing, and companionship. True labor consists of regular, intense contractions that last longer and do not stop with change in position or at rest.

If the mother is new, before going to the hospital it is recommended to observe the following. That the contractions occur at least every 5 minutes, last 1 minute and manifest for 2 hours. In case of not being the first, the contractions typical of labor will last 1 hour and, at least, will come every 10 minutes.

Recognizing when labor has started avoids arriving late to the hospital and that maneuvers to advance it are administered to the mother. For example, breaking the bag and applying intravenous oxytocin. When it comes to giving birth, the more natural the process, the better.