Telltale Signs You’re Going Into Labor Soon
Every pregnant woman knows that unless you have a scheduled c-section or induction, the last few weeks of pregnancy can feel like one big waiting game because due dates are nothing but estimates. Growing a baby is utterly exhausting and it can get quite uncomfortable. By the end, all you want to know is when it’s going to be over. Thankfully, mother nature has her way of letting us know when we’re getting close to the big day. Here are 10 symptoms that will let you know when labor is near.
Once you’ve made it to the 36-week mark, one of the most exciting things that you will hear from your obstetrician during those antepartum visits is that your cervix has begun to dilate and efface. This means that your cervix is opening up and thinning out in preparation for childbirth.
Increased Cramping + Back Pain
Dull pain in your lower back that is persistent and is paired with menstrual-like cramps is also an early labor symptom.
With the increased need for nighttime bathroom breaks, aches and pains, and a baby who is getting a wee too big for her current living quarters, getting a good night’s sleep during those last few days of pregnancy can feel virtually impossible. Not to worry, relief is almost here.
Bursts of Energy + The Urge To Nest
Those last few weeks of pregnancy often leave you feeling fatigued; however, if you notice that you suddenly experience a surge of energy and the sudden urge to “nest” or prepare your home for the new baby, this is likely your body’s way of telling you that you’ll be meeting your family’s newest addition a lot sooner than later.
Increased Discharge + The Bloody Show
A sudden increase or thickening of vaginal discharge can also be indicative of labor to come. When this discharge is pink or tinged with blood, it’s referred to as the bloody show.
Loss of the Mucous Plug
During pregnancy, the mucous plug serves as the cork that seals your uterus. As you approach your due date, you may notice that your plug has been released. It can come out in small pieces or one large piece and its consistency will look very similar to the mucus that comes out when you have a cold.
Since the second trimester, you may have noticed that you have butterfingers. This increased clumsiness is the result of the hormone relaxin, which causes your joints to loosen. This continues all the way into the last few weeks of pregnancy. As labor draws near, you’ll begin to notice that all of your joints are feeling even more relaxed and loose. It’s your body preparing and opening your pelvis so that your bundle of joy can make her grand entrance.
If you find that you’re experiencing diarrhea more frequently than usual, it may be a sign that it’s almost showtime. Just as relaxin causes our joints to relax, it also causes the muscles in your rectum to loosen, which can result in diarrhea.
As you get closer to your due date, you may notice that your baby will begin to move away from your diaphragm and take position in your pelvis. This transition is referred to as lightening and typically occurs two to four weeks prior to labor. It is marked by increased pelvic pressure, rectal pressure, and frequent urination.
Your weight can rise rather rapidly during pregnancy. When this levels, you’re likely nearing the end. Many women even experience weight loss. Not to worry, though. Your little one is still gaining you’re just losing due to a decrease in fluids.