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There are three changes in your body that will alert you that the time to deliver is near. You may notice a glob of blood stained mucus in the toilet, a pink stain on toilet paper or in your underwear. This is a sign the labor will most likely begin within the next 48 hours, although this may also occur days or weeks before. If the discharge resembles menstrual blood contact your doctor. Another sign is the trickling or gushing of fluid from your vagina, which occurs when your water breaks. Usually the water breaks during labor, but there is a small chance that it may break before hand. This fluid is usually clear or a whitish color. Should it be green or brown contact your doctor immediately. The last of these changes is ongoing contractions that become stronger and more frequent over time. If you are experiencing regular contractions, try changing positions, if they stop then your experiencing false labor. If the contractions come in regular intervals, its time to notify your doctor that you’re in labor.

During the first stage of labor you will become dilated between three and four centimeters. While your contractions are still mild and remain relatively far apart, its important to drink plenty of fluids such as ginger ale and juice. As you dilate further and you labor becomes more active you may be instructed not to eat or drink anything. At this point your contractions will become stronger and closer together, you may decide to take some pain medications to help you relax. The most difficult part of the first stage is once you are fully dilated. Your uterus begins strethcing more to allow the baby passage through its opening into the birth canal.

The second stage of labor begins when the baby is in the birth canal. If your water hasn’t broken on its own or been broken yet, then it may do so at this point. Contractions, though still strong, become less frequent and you feel the need to push. You should only push when your body has the urge to. Your baby’s head will be to the first to come through. This is know as the crowning. Once your baby has crowned, its body will easily follow.

The third stage of delivery is probably the easiest part for women. During this stage, the placenta will be expelled. This usually occurs within minutes to an hour after the delivery of your baby. Now is time to relax, take deep slow breaths and put your attention on your newborn, which will help with the uncomfortableness of minimizing your bleeding.