Am I in Labor?: When To Go To The Hospital

I was at the mall today and this VERY PREGNANT lady sparked conversation with me in the checkout line.  She saw my son and asked if this was my first.

I gave her the usual reply, “I WISH!” and went on to tell her I have 4 kids 1-14.  She was a first time mom and asked, “How do you know when your’e in labor?”
I love this question from new moms, because it’s a very simple answer.  For educational purposes (because I did teach this stuff to first time moms) I will list the signs and symptoms of active labor.
However in a nutshell, (and veteran moms can nod your heads in agreement), the answer is a simple, “you know”.  After learning all the s/s of true vs. false labor, the best advice I give new mommies is this.
When you have pain that you can NO LONGER BEAR,  kick, scream, cry, yell, and curse, you are typically in labor”  
 
But, as promised here are the actual s/s of true labor:
  1. Your contractions are 5 minutes or LESS apart REGULARLY for at least an HOUR.
  2. The contractions start in THE BACK AND WRAP AROUND TO THE BELLY
  3. No matter what you do (rest, lie on your side, drink water etc) THE PAIN DOES NOT GO AWAY!
  4. You may notice a snotty, slimy red/pinkish blob in your underwear (mucous plug, I know gross)
  5. Water break: but just because your water break, it is a possibility you are not actually in labor. However, you want to go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY PAIN OR NOT.
These s/s listed are typically when you want to go to the hospital, and will not be sent home.  However, by all means always go to the hospital or consult with your ob whenever in doubt or you feel something is wrong.
Hope this helps someone out there!

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