Labor is the body’s way of preparing for childbirth. It is uncertain when labor will start. However, there are changes in the body that may signal the start of it. Some women may experience distinct stages of labor. While some may not even know they have it. To help you get ready for it, here are signs of labor to look out for.
It is the process when the baby lowers into the pelvis. It is also called “baby dropping.” Hence, it can happen a few hours before labor. Some may experience it weeks before labor. Additionally, you will feel the need to pee more often. Hence, it is because the uterus will press on the bladder more. Luckily, the extra room will make it easier to breathe. It can also relieve heartburn.
2. Mucus Plug Discharge
This plug collects at the cervix during pregnancy. Once the cervix widens, it will release into the vagina. It can be clear, pink, or slightly bloody. That is why it is also called a “bloody show.” Labor happens soon if this is released. It may also occur a couple of weeks after.
Moreover, it happens when the muscles of the uterus tighten. Your abdomen will be hard. Between contractions, the uterus can relax. The abdomen will then become soft. The experience will differ for each woman. This sign may also differ from one pregnancy to the other.
This sign will cause discomfort in your back. Also, one can feel pressure in their pelvis. The contractions may feel like a wave that goes from the top of the uterus to the bottom. Some describe the feeling same as having menstrual cramps.
Check your body wastes. One of the signs of labor is watery poop. Therefore, it can mean that you are a day or two from having labor.
5. Nesting Instinct
Pregnant women may find themselves with bouts of energy. Also, it may mean that the baby’s arrival is soon. It is the nesting instinct kicking in. You will feel an urge to get ready. The thought of cooking or cleaning the house may pop into your mind. You may even feel like going out and shopping. Remember not to overdo it. Save your energy. Childbirth will take a lot of your energy.
6. Lesser Activity of the Baby
You may notice the baby moving less. Hence, it can signal the first stage of labor. But of course, check with your doctor first. The baby not moving may be a sign of a problem.
7. Weight loss
You may notice weight gain since the conception date of the baby. Therefore, it is normal since you are growing another being in your body. However, some women experience weight loss a few days before the start of labor.
8. Back Pain
You may feel lower back pain. Some describe their experiences as having menstrual cramps. Usually, you may feel pain in your lower abdomen. The pain may persist.
9. Difficulty Moving
If you find yourself having difficulty moving, it may mean labor is near. Also, it is the body’s natural way of preparing. A hormone will loosen up ligaments around the pelvis. Likewise, it will make it easier for the baby to pass through during delivery.
10. Water Breaking
It is probably what most people think when thinking about labor. The “water” that breaks is the sac that covers the baby during pregnancy. Also, there is a sudden gush of fluid from your genitals. It can also feel like trickles of fluid leaking. The fluid is typically odorless. It may look clear. You may want to call your doctor at this time. Be sure to take note of the details. They will likely ask you about the time it happened and the amount of fluid. They will also ask about what it looks like. Do not be alarmed if your water does not break, as it can happen. There are cases when the doctors will have to pierce through the sac in the hospital.
The cervix will get shorter and thinner months after the conception date. It is to stretch and open around the baby’s head. Contact your doctor to check for this. They may perform a pelvic exam.
Dilation happens when the cervix opens and stretches. Doctors measure this in centimeters. A complete dilation is 10 centimeters. When you reach this, you are now ready to give birth.