For all those mommies waiting for this moment, we’ve prepared an article that’s going to be helpful in detecting the labor signs announcing the birth! This is something every pregnant mom has been waiting for months — the birth of the baby.
Many moms-to-be don’t have a clear idea on what the signs of labor are. That’s why we’ve decided to shed some light on 10 clear labor signs that you’re going to meet your baby soon. So, all of those eager to learn how they can detect whether the baby is on its way, keep on reading!
Here’s the list of the 10 biggest labor signs:
- Feeling that the baby has “dropped”
- Cervix dilation
- Cramping and severe back pain
- Joints feeling a bit “loose”
- Increased diarrhea
- No more added pounds
- Being extra tired and experiencing the urge to nest
- The change of color and consistency in vaginal discharge
- Contractions of higher frequency and strength
- The final one: the water breaks
Not knowing what to expect and how labor will feel can make future moms anxious. And, we all know that there’s no room for stress when we’re talking about pregnancy. Even though every pregnancy is different, some signs can make it easier for you to tell whether the labor is near. So, pay attention and start taking notes because we’re going to explain each one of the listed signs. That way, you’ll certainly be able to tell when you’re going into labor.
1. Feeling That The Baby Has “Dropped”
The first among the 10 labor signs is the “dropping.” In fact, the baby will start to drop a couple of weeks before the actual labor. Typically, the baby starts descending into the pelvis around 2 to 4 weeks before the birth. However, the time frame may vary.
We’d like to note that this applies to first-time moms. Basically, for moms that have already given birth before, the dropping will happen only when they are truly in labor. In any case, the feeling of being able to breath more is a clear sign that the baby has dropped. As the baby moves away from the lungs, it will come towards your bladder and pelvis. That, however, will make you start going to the bathroom way more frequently than you normally do.
2. Cervix Dilation
Another labor sign is when the cervix starts opening. In fact, in the days before the labor, the cervix will slowly start to open up and thin out.
Your obstetrician will closely monitor the progress of the dilation and effacement, too. And, once again, this is a process that not every mommy endures in the same manner. So, even if you are opening slowly, you shouldn’t feel discouraged.
3. Cramping and Severe Back Pain
As the labor day approaches, moms will most likely start feeling severe back pain and cramping. Essentially, this is a clear sign of the joints and muscles stretching out and shifting in order to stay prepared for the labor.
4. Joints Feeling a Bit “Loose”
The hormone relaxin is in charge of making the ligaments looser during the pregnancy. This hormone is also the one to blame for all the clumsiness in the last trimester.
What a mom might feel days before going into labor is the looseness of the joints. The reason for this is that your body is starting to prepare for the baby coming out and making its way into the world.
5. Increased Diarrhea
Another consequence of the body getting “loose” is diarrhea. In fact, as the muscles in the body (including the rectum) get more relaxed than usual, this is a symptom that moms can expect to have during their entire pregnancy. And, it’s important to know that it’s a normal and natural way that the body works. Our advice is to increase fluid intake and stay hydrated.
6. No More Added Pounds
This has to be good news, right? At the very end of the pregnancy, moms will stop gaining weight. In fact, some moms will even start losing weight!
It’s important to know that this is absolutely normal and that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Also, the weight loss won’t have anything to do with the baby’s weight. Essentially, the baby will continue to gain weight while the mom will keep losing it due to many potty breaks and lower levels of amniotic fluid.
7. Being Extra Tired and Experiencing The Urge to Nest
Since the belly is pretty big and the bladder is feeling smooshed, it might be tough to get some good quality sleep at the very end of the pregnancy. Our advice is to try your best to get as much sleep whenever you can.
Feeling tired and fatigued is pretty common for moms-to-be. On the other hand, some moms experience a totally different phenomenon. In fact, they get an energy kick and start cleaning and organizing everything in their home and getting ready for the baby. Either way, it’s normal to feel like this, and there is nothing to worry about in both of these scenarios.
8. The Change of Color and Consistency in Vaginal Discharge
Another clear sign of the upcoming labor is the change of color and consistency of the vaginal discharge. As a matter of fact, moms might notice the loss of their mucus plug.
The mucus plug is the cork that seals off the uterus and keeps it separated from the outside world. This can come out in many tiny pieces or in a large one. It will look exactly the same as the mucus that comes from our noses when we catch a cold. However, some moms might lose it only during the labor and others days before it. Still, what every mom will be able to notice is the thicker and pinker discharge, which is a clear sign of going into labor.
9. Contractions of Higher Frequency and Strength
The contractions are early labor signs. However, there are contractions that moms can experience way before the actual delivery. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between the real and the false ones. The signs of real labor are as follows:
- When the moms are active, contractions don’t get easier. Instead, they get stronger and more frequent.
- Changing positions doesn’t make the contractions go away.
- The intensity and frequency of contractions start to build up fast.
In addition to that, early labor contractions might feel like really strong menstrual cramps. The pain can start in the lower abdomen and pass to the lower back area. Also, it can radiate down into the legs, too. Still, we’d like to note that this kind of pain can be a sign of false contractions as well.
10. The Final One: Water Breaks
One of the final labor signs of the upcoming birth is when the water breaks.
We want to make sure you understand that this is definitely not going to be the only sign of labor (as it’s often portrayed in the movies). In fact, this happens in only around 15 percent of labors or less. As you were able to see, there are plenty of labor signs to look out for. That’s why we would advise you not to count on this one as the only labor sign!
When To Reach For the Phone and Call the Doctor?
Chances are that your obstetrician has already advised you on what steps to take when the labor comes. For instance, they might have instructed you to call them once your contractions gain a regular pattern, like being 3 minutes apart for an hour.
If the contractions are consistent, gradually becoming more painful and are lasting longer, then it’s high time you placed a call with the doc. The baby is coming for sure!
And, in case you’re still not sure whether you might be in labor, we’d recommend calling the practitioner in order to get their advice. Don’t worry about “boring” the doctor or the midwife because they have been doing this for a while now. They are familiar with the unexpected side of their business, so don’t feel embarrassed about it.
Here are some clear signs when you should call your doc:
- If there is a sign of bleeding or intense red discharge (not pink or brown).
- If the water breaks. We’d like to note that if the fluid looks brown or green, you should react fast because this could be the sign of meconium. Meconium is your baby’s first stool, which can be hazardous if the baby ingests it during birth.
- Finally, if you’re experiencing a double or blurry vision, a painful headache or swelling. All of these can be signs of preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure caused by the pregnancy.
In all of these cases, you should react immediately and call your doctor.
Feeling that the birth is getting close can make future moms pretty nervous. It’s natural, and we recommend not to worry about it too much.
Now you’ve learned some of the clear signs that the baby is coming. So, monitor the changes and get ready to meet your baby!