An “inside” view on how labor begins.

Watch from the inside as those first contractions get to work:

IMPORTANT: This video ends with instructions about what to tell your doctor when your water breaks.

It instructs you to remember the acronym “COAT“.

Here is what COAT stands for:

C=Color. What color is the fluid? If it is clear, that’s a great sign!

Green or brown fluid is a sign of fetal distress, so if the water is not clear, it is really important that you call your doctor right away.

O=Odor. Amniotic fluid should be almost odorless, though some women report that it smells like bleach or freshly-washed laundry.

If it smells like pee, and there was only a little bit of a trickle of fluid, then it could be that your water DIDN’T break. Instead, you may have leaked a little bit of urine–very common in late pregnancy with a 7.5-pound baby banging her head on your bladder….

A=Amount. Did your water break with a gush or a trickle? Do you still feel it coming out now and then?

T=Time. How long ago did your water break?

Keep in mind that once your water breaks, there is an open route for bacteria straight to your uterus (and your baby). So from this point on, you want to be careful not to put anything into your vagina. No sex, no tampons, and no self-checking your cervix!