38 weeks pregnant lower back pain and abdominal cramping
Contractions During Labor: What You Need to Know
38 WEEKS PREGNANT - back pain, cramping, labor/baby prepand
Learn to recognize the telltale signs that baby is coming. Is that little trickle of fluid your water breaking, or is it just urine leaking because a seven-pound baby is resting on your full bladder? Labor — like parenting itself — is never completely clear-cut. To help you figure out when you're really ready to head to the hospital, check out these cues. Just when you think you can't possibly get any bigger and you'll never get off the couch without a crane, you may experience the following symptoms that let you know labor is near.
Your body will be constantly changing during pregnancy, which might cause some discomforts. Some discomforts might occur in the early weeks of pregnancy, while others will occur only as you get closer to delivery. Other discomforts might appear early and then go away, only to come back later. This is normal and usually does not mean something is wrong. Some of the most common discomforts and ways to relieve them are described in this handout.
At 38 weeks pregnant and until you give birth; your belly size is going to stay pretty constant. If your baby has already dropped into your pelvis - which is a sign that labor might be on its way in a few days - you may notice that your belly is lower than it was before. Now the waiting game begins. You must try to be patient and watch out for the signs of labor. Contractions may start; your water may break; you might lose your mucus plug. Pay attention to anything unusual, and make sure that you have your hospital bags packed. You will feel more frequent bouts of Braxton Hicks contractions now.
Early labor contractions can feel like gastrointestinal discomfort, heavy menstrual cramps or lower abdominal pressure. You may feel pain in just the lower abdomen or in the lower back and abdomen, and the pain may radiate down the legs, particularly the upper thighs. Keep in mind, however, that location is not the most reliable indication of labor you can feel false labor contractions in these places too. Better signs include the frequency, intensity and regularity of your contractions. Your practitioner has likely told you when to call if you think you're in labor a good rule of thumb: when contractions are five to seven minutes apart.
Signs of Approaching Labor