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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Signs of labour

In the early stages of labour your cervix begins to soften and thin, this process can take hours or even days. It can be different for every woman. During this early stage you may experience some pain and discomfort, but often the pattern of contractions is not regular. Most women are able to stay at home during this time.

In the early stages of labour you may have

  • a blood stained mucus discharge called a show
  • lower back pain
  • period like pain which comes and goes
  • loose bowel actions
  • feeling nauseated or vomiting
  • ‘breaking of the waters’ (ruptured membranes) which can occur with a sudden gush of fluid or a slow trickle of fluid. The fluid should be clear or slightly pink in colour. If the fluid is green or blood stained call the hospital immediately on (03) 4215 2060.

False Alarms

Sometimes women start to have contractions and then they fade away. These can be deceptive and can make you think that you are in labour. You go to hospital to find that everything stops.

If this happens to you, you may be examined and may be disappointed that you have not progressed very far in your labour. In this situation you may be asked if you would prefer to go home. This can be sensible unless you live a long way from the hospital. Don’t feel embarrassed or worry. This sort of false alarm happens all the time.

Last Modified: Monday, 05 December 2016