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How do I know when I'm going into labor?

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Before labor begins, you'll lose your mucus plug.  (For some moms, this can happen several days to several weeks before labor actually begins, so the loss of your plug doesn't mean that labor is imminent.)  It's also likely that your water will break and you'll have "bloody show" at the start of labor.  However, the truest sign that labor is underway are contractions.  These will be strong - rather than some discomfort that you can try your best to ignore, actual labor contractions will be something that causes you to stop what you're doing and concentrate on your breathing to get through.  Once these strong contractions become more regular, you'll know that labor has begun.  I also noticed that my back hurt before my labor began.Once you start having contractions, it's important to be in contact with your doctor or midwife, so they can help keep tabs on your progress, whether you're in the hospital of starting your labor from home.Of course (and you've probably heard this so many times that you want to scream), labor is different for everyone.  I didn't notice when I lost my mucus plug, but when I was admitted to the hospital with my first baby, I'd already lost it.  As cheesy as it sounds, you'll know when your labor begins - our bodies are very good about making us aware!  Good luck! :-)
I agree with previous post.  YOU WILL KNOW.  It will not be the normal aches and pains of pregnancy.  I would say not to go to the hospital until you are contracting and by the time you are having those, you will know.  It will be uncomfortable like period cramps and your back will hurt and you will just not feel "right".  Best way i can describe it based on my previous delivery.  However, if in doubt, it never hurts to get checked.  You wouldn't want to run around with your water broken for a lengthy period of time or anything - infection can develop.

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