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A Picture Guide to Childbirth

By

Updated March 07, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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The Mucus Plug and Breaking Bag of Waters
Mucus Plug - Breaking Bag of Waters
Photo © A.D.A.M.
As you near the end of the your 40 weeks, and even after 40 weeks, you may be watching for signs of labor. These signs of labor are good indicators that your baby is ready to be born.

Mother

  • You may lose your mucus plug all at once or slowly before labor begins. Sometimes you will not see the mucus plug until labor is well under way.
  • Some women notice increased vaginal discharge as labor nears.
  • While your labor may start with the breaking of the bag of waters, this is not as common as you might think.

Baby

  • You may notice that your baby feels like s/he is down lower. This is called dropping or lightening. This may not happen until labor has started.

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