Tightening of stomach a sign of labor, doctor says

By Tsai Shu-yuan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Oct 23, 2018 - Page 3

A Taichung physician has urged expectant mothers to look out for a tightening of the stomach as a sign of labor after a 33-year-old woman unexpectedly went into labor.

The woman, surnamed Chi (紀), is a second-time mother who was due on Thursday last week.

However, on Oct. 9, she felt her stomach tighten and noticed a small amount of watery discharge.

Although there was no bleeding and she was not experiencing labor pains, she went to a hospital, Chi said.

To her surprise, the doctor told her that she was in labor — her water had broken and her cervix had dilated to 6cm — and she gave birth to a boy the next day, she said.

Chi said she and her husband had planned to spend the Double Ten National Day at her parents’ house and was not expecting to have a baby that day, adding that they are glad that their son’s birthday coincides with the holiday.

The duration and signs of labor can vary from person to person, said Chang Pu-hung (張溥鴻), an obstetrician and gynecologist at Taichung’s Lin Shin Hospital.

Not everyone experiences labor pains, he added.

Expectant mothers should be wary of a tightening of the stomach that increases in frequency or intensity, Lin said.

If they also experience bleeding or a watery discharge, they should immediately seek medical help to avoid a having an emergency delivery or putting themselves or the baby at risk, he added.