During early labour: how do you know if baby is distressed?


The majority of babies will cope with labour very well as this is what they are designed for!

If you have additional risk factors in your pregnancy it is important you seek advice sooner rather than later in early labour. If you are at home it is important to note a few things that will help reassure you that baby is well – you should feel baby moving between contractions (sometimes during them too; baby’s head pressing down or moving from side to side, or a bum, arms, legs, feet etc sticking out!) babies who are well continue to move until the moment they are born. If your waters break they should be clear or light pink. Any brown or green water is likely to be meconium which means the baby has passed a stool inside the uterus and this is a sign of fetal distress. If your waters have broken and the hospital have sent you home to await labour you should always feel well in yourself. If you feel you are developing a high temperature or start to feel unwell then you should go back to the maternity unit for assessment. You should not have any fresh red bleeding from the vagina, a streak of pink with your mucous show is normal but you should not experience anything that is similar to a period. Your uterus will feel soft between contractions and you should feel relatively comfortable between contractions too; you will be able to walk around, talk, eat and drink. If you have any concerns then please contact your midwife or maternity unit for advice as soon as possible.

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