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A Basic Revisited: Teaching About the Onset of Labor

; Minneapolis Vol. 8, Iss. 1,  (Mar 31, 1993): 16-18.
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A Basic Revisited: Teaching About the Onset of Labor

As we grow and mature as educators, we often find ourselves moving beyond the basics to include more and more information in our classes. Occasionally it is beneficial to step back and take a look, once again, at the basics. For the newer educator, it is also important to examine what is taught by others to be assured that all the appropriate bases are being covered. Every educator has a responsibility to remain current regarding what her students are being told by their caregivers. With that in mind, let's take a look at teaching about the onset of labor.

Mothers need to be aware that many things happen as the birth of their baby approaches. Just as each woman is unique, so is each pregnancy and each labor. The signs of approaching labor may happen in any order. They may take place in a short period of time, such as a few hours or days, or over a period of several weeks. Some women notice that they "feel" different than during the pregnancy. Others may notice nothing until labor has actually started. Some of the more common signs of approaching labor are:

lightening (dropping), or the baby moving down into the pelvis. The pregnant woman may notice that her baby seems lower and further out in front of her body. She may find it easier to breathe or have others tell her that the baby has "dropped." Since the baby will put more pressure on the bladder in this position, she will need to urinate more often. If this is not the first pregnancy, the baby may not move into the pelvis until after labor has begun.

a sudden burst of energy, perhaps after periods of feeling tired. The "nesting instinct"...