As a first-time mom, you can’t wait to meet your baby. Of course, you also want to know when your baby is coming. Each pregnancy and delivery is unique, but there are certain signs you can look for to figure out when you could possibly be delivering your baby.
Before reading these signs, keep in mind that giving birth before or after full gestational age doesn’t necessarily equal a negative consequence for you or your baby. If you have any questions or concerns regarding early or late delivery, don’t hesitate to bring them up to your OBGYN or midwife.
Signs Your Baby is Coming Before Full Gestational Age (prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy)
Sometimes labor begins before your baby is considered full term, or full gestational age. Although this may seem scary, in many cases, the baby is just fine.
Though we can not always explain why this happens or predict it, there are some risk factors associated with premature labor. If the mother has any uterine abnormalities or is carrying multiples, there is a higher chance of early birth. If the mother experiences recurring bladder or kidney infections, deals with chronic illness, has experienced high fever in pregnancy, or has certain vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases, she is at higher risk to deliver her baby before full gestation.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms of labor, you could very well be going into labor and should contact your midwife or obstetrician. These include increased vaginal discharge, bleeding, the breaking of your water, and contractions that begin to increase in frequency and strength over time, or are occurring more than five times in an hour.
A birth occurring before 37 weeks is a more complicated by the pre-term gestation of the baby. Follow the guidance of your OBGYN or midwife through the process of birth and afterward to ensure the best outcome for you and your baby.
Signs Your Baby is Coming at Full Gestational Age
Every pregnancy is different, and it can be impossible to know in advance exactly when your baby is coming. However, the following are some signs that the time could be near… One classic labor sign is lightening, which is when the baby drops down into your pelvis. This indicates that the baby is becoming ready to be born. That being said, lightening can happen weeks or hours before your baby is born.
Other signs that your baby is coming include your water breaking, shedding of the mucus plug (also called show), and contractions that increase in strength and frequency over time. Every week matters when it comes to growing your baby, but once your baby has reached full gestation, you can be ready to welcome them into the world!
Signs Your Baby Will Be Delivered Late
The clock is ticking. You sit back and wonder: Jeez, when will I deliver? After all, that baby has been cooking for a while. Delivering late is normal, but it can also be difficult to wait.
A pregnancy extending more than a week beyond the due date is also referred to as “post-term pregnancy.” Why does late post-term pregnancy happen? It’s actually unknown. However, there are some risk factors that may contribute to a late delivery of your baby.
Interestingly, male fetuses are more likely to be carried late. If you are carrying a male fetus, don’t be surprised if your pregnancy lasts longer than anticipated. As a first-time mom, it is also not uncommon to carry your baby later than expected. Obesity is also another risk factor for late delivery.
Most midwives and doctors are happy to support a pregnancy through 41-42 weeks of gestation, but it is important to stay in contact with your health professionals and let them know about any of your questions or concerns. During this time, you’ll see them twice a week!
You may have concerns about preterm delivery and post-term pregnancy, especially if you connect with any of the risk factors involved. We’re here to help. If you’d like more information, please call our Wilmette or Glenview offices to schedule an appointment.