Signs of labour

There are several signs that labour might be starting. You may have one or several of these signs and these signs can differ in each pregnancy. They can include:

  • Contractions or tightenings
  • ‘A show’ when the plug of mucus from your cervix (entrance to your womb) comes away
  • Waters Breaking (Rupture of Membranes)
  • Backache
  • Opening your bowels more frequently
  • Passing urine frequently

For detailed information and video check out:

If you have any of the following please call Central Labour Suite (24 hours a day) on 01244 365026 or 365028

  • You think you are in labour
  • Your waters break
  • You’re bleeding
  • You have unexplained abdominal pain
  • Your baby is moving less than usual, or the pattern of movements has changed
  • You’re less than 37 weeks pregnant and think you might be in labour
  • You feel unwell, feverish or have a raised temperature
  • You are unsure or worried about your labour, yourself, or your baby


The following are emergency situations, and 999 should be called immediately if:

  • You can feel the umbilical cord inside your vagina, or you can see it hanging out of your vagina
  • You are bleeding heavily
  • You lose consciousness
  • You are pushing or your baby’s head can be seen
  • You have a seizure or fit
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