Signs of labour?
This is a difficult one, as, put quite simply, when you are you will know.
No one knows exactly what triggers birth; however, it is strongly believed that, when the baby is ready, a message is sent through to the brain to begin the production of the cocktail of hormones for birth.
Labour begins in earnest when the hormone oxytocin is released on a regular basis. This hormone triggers the muscles of the uterus to begin to flex and tighten, known as a contraction. So usually the pattern and frequency of Braxton Hicks changes to become steadier and follow a more regular pattern.
The uterus becomes hard during a contraction, especially at the top you can visibly see when you are having one through your stomach and back muscles.
If you are in active labour, then lying down or going for a walk WILL NOT stop the contractions, which often happens with Braxton Hicks.
Plus your mood and emotional state will begin to change, too.
Othe signs include those in our post on When will you know labour is imminent :-
Release of mucus plug
Lower back pain