Often asked: What Do The First Signs Of Labor Feel Like?

Signs of Labor

Strong, frequent contractions, bloody show, and water breaking are early warning signs of impending labor. Other early signs of impending labor include: Baby drops, increased back pain, and weight gain.

What is labor?

The process of childbirth begins with contractions, and as you get closer to your due date, you may notice some subtle physical signs of early labor. Signs of early labor can appear anywhere from hours to days before you transition into active labor and the arrival of your baby.

Strong, frequent contractions

If you’re not sure whether you’re having actual labor contractions or practice Braxton Hicks contractions, assess the frequency, intensity, and location of the pain. If you’re still not sure, ask yourself the following questions: Are the contractions evenly spaced?

Bloody show 

The mucus plug is the cork that seals off your uterus from the outside world, and it can come out in one large piece or many small ones, though you may not see it. Increased and/or thickened vaginal discharge is an early sign of impending labor.

Belly and lower back pain

You might experience severe menstrual cramps, stomach upset, or lower abdominal pressure, as well as pain radiating down your legs from your lower back.

Water breaking

Membranes rupture and amniotic fluid leaks after other labor symptoms have started for most women, and water breaking is one of the last signs of labor for most women. Water breaking can feel like a trickle or a gush for some women.

Early signs labor is near (but hasn’t started yet)

If you’re expecting a baby in the coming weeks or are about to become a first-time mother, keep an eye out for these early signs of labor, also known as pre-labor symptoms (or pre-baby symptoms).

Baby drops

Expect your baby to drop a few weeks before labor if you’re a first-time mom; in subsequent births, this “lightening” doesn’t usually happen until you’re truly in labor. Your baby is getting ready to exit, ideally with his head down and low.

Cervix begins to dilate

Your cervix begins to dilate (open) and efface (thin out) in the days and weeks leading up to your delivery. Everyone progresses differently, so don’t be discouraged if you’re only dilating slowly or not at all.

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Cramps and increased back pain

As labor approaches, you may experience cramping and pain in your lower back and groin, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy, as your muscles and joints stretch and shift in preparation for delivery.

Loose-feeling joints

The pregnancy hormone relaxin has made your ligaments loosen up a little, so you may notice that your joints all over your body feel a little less tight and more relaxed before you go into labor. This is just nature’s way of opening up your pelvis for your little passenger to make his way into the world.


It’s completely normal and a good sign, as long as you stay hydrated and remember that it’s all part of the prelabor preparation process.

Weight gain stops

Lower levels of amniotic fluid, more bathroom breaks, and increased activity can cause weight loss early in the pregnancy, but it will have no effect on the birth weight of your baby.

Fatigue and the nesting instinct 

It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep while pregnant, and some moms experience a burst of energy (also known as the nesting instinct) as their baby’s birthday approaches, which is fine as long as you don’t overdo it!

Am I going into labor? Should I call the doctor?

You’ll be seeing your doctor or midwife more frequently now, and she’ll be able to help you recognize the key signs. If you think you’re in labor but aren’t sure, call your provider; he or she can explain what’s going on and have you come in if there’s any doubt.

What is preterm labor?

Preterm labor occurs before a woman’s 37th week of pregnancy, despite the fact that the vast majority of pregnancies u2014 about 90% u2014 make it to week 37.

Can I be in labor and not know it?

Every labor is different, but if you’re unsure, call your practitioner and have your cervix checked out. Most of the time, a mother’s contractions will help her along the way to labor.

Natural ways to help labor along

Walking, sex, spicy food, and acupuncture are some natural methods for inducing labor that you can try at home. However, there isn’t much research to back any of these methods up, so always consult your doctor first.

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What are three signs that labor is beginning?

Strong and regular contractions, pain in your belly and lower back, a bloody mucus discharge, and your water breaking are all signs of labor that you should be aware of before your due date. If you think you’re in labor, call your health care provider.

What is the most common first sign of labor?

Contractions are the most common first sign of labor; your cervix, or lower part of your uterus, will soften, thin, and shorten just before you go into labor, and you may feel some discomfort, as well as a few light, irregular contractions.

How do contractions feel when they first start?

True labor contractions typically feel like a pain or pressure that starts in the back and moves to the front of your lower abdomen, unlike Braxton Hicks, which ebb and flow. Your belly will tighten and feel very hard during true labor contractions.

How do you feel 24 hours before labor?

Low back pain, weight loss, diarrhea, and, of course, your water breaking are all signs that labor is 24 to 48 hours away as the countdown to birth begins.

How can you tell if your baby will be early or late?

Early Signs of Labor: Your Body Is Preparing to Give Birth:

  1. The baby is born.
  2. You have a strong desire to start a family.
  3. You stop gaining weight.
  4. Your cervix dilates.
  5. Fatigue.
  6. Worsening back pain.
  7. Diarrhea.
  8. Loose joints and increased clumsiness.

Does the baby move alot before labor?

Your baby moves less: Many women notice that their baby is less active the day before labor begins, for reasons that no one knows about; it’s possible that the baby is conserving energy for the birth.

How do I know when Labour is close?

If you have loose bowels or diarrhea near your due date, it could be a sign that labor is approaching; this ’emptying out’ is thought to be nature’s way of making room for the baby. A few MFMers noticed that they needed to poo more frequently as labor approached.

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Can Labor start while sleeping?

We can’t stress how important it is to rest in these early stages; remember, the average first labor lasts 18-24 hours, so if you aren’t resting and sleeping during this time, chances are you’ll be feeling it when active labor begins. If contractions begin at night, stay in bed.

Is it a contraction or baby moving?

It’s most likely a contraction if your entire uterus is hard during the cramping; if it’s hard in some places but soft in others, it’s more than likely the baby moving around.

Where on Bump do you feel contractions?

It may feel like a tight band around the top of your womb, which can be felt externally by placing a hand on your bump, or it may feel like a tight band around the top of your womb, which can be felt by placing a hand on your bump. Some women feel contractions most strongly in the back, which is usually caused by their baby facing a certain way (back to back).

How often do contractions come when they first start?

They may last 40 to 50 seconds at the start of the first stage, and you may get one every 10 minutes.

How can I make myself go into labor right now?

Natural methods for inducing labor

  1. Have sex. Sex is frequently recommended for starting labor.
  2. Try to relax.
  3. Eat something spicy.
  4. Drink a little castor oil.
  5. Schedule an acupuncture session.
  6. Ask your doctor to strip your membranes.

Can you be in labor without contractions or water breaking?

If your water breaks without contractions, you’re probably in labor. “If it’s broken, you’ll usually experience a big gush of fluid,” Dr. du Triel says. “You definitely need to be evaluated if that happens, even if you don’t have contractions.”

Can pre Labor last for days?

The latent phase can last several days or weeks before active labor begins, and some women may experience backache or cramps during this time. It is normal for some women to have bouts of contractions that last a few hours and then stop and start the next day.

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