Many women – especially first time moms – worry that they won’t recognize when they’re going into labor. They’re also concerned about what’s normal and what’s not while they’re giving birth.

You might start feeling consistent contractions. Unlike Braxton Hicks, these real labor pains last longer and don’t go away for good – they come back on a timed interval, getting closer and closer every hour.

Back pain can get a bit extreme. Some women think labor contractions are only located in the front, where their womb is – but you also feel it in your back, deep in the lower area.

You may notice a white discharge from your vagina known as the mucus plug. This is normal. Your doctor will be able to tell you if it’s passed or not. This may or may not be something you even notice.

Your water will break at some point. It might be when you’re at home or out somewhere. Or, it could be in the hospital after you’re feeling contractions and have been admitted.

Some doctors will go ahead and break your bag of water for you, helping move labor along so that you delivery your baby faster. It will feel like a warm gush of water and it can be clear – but sometimes it’s not if there is meconium (fecal stool) in the amniotic fluid.

Labor can last from a few hours to over a day. Every woman is different. It sometimes goes faster once a woman has already given birth to a previous child, but this isn’t set in stone.

This is a very tiring process. Many hospitals don’t want you to eat during this time, so they give you ice chips to chew on. You might feel nauseous all over again.

You’ll have pain relief options if you choose to use them, such as an epidural. Go over all of these with your health care specialist to determine which one is right for you.

Some women worry about having a bowel movement while pushing their baby out, but this does not always happen and if it does, you probably won’t know. The doctor and nurses are ready for it and will have it cleaned and gone before you even realize it happened.

After the baby is delivered, you’ll be so consumed with watching and listening to your baby that you may not even pay much attention to the process of delivering the placenta. And when all is said and done, you’ll need to relax and recover from an exhausting, yet satisfying nine-month journey to happiness.

Remember, we here at BSideU for Life! can answer your questions and guide you. Call us.