As your due date approaches, you may be wondering what labor signs to look out for.
It is important to know the early signs and symptoms of labor so that you can be prepared and have a healthy delivery.
Here are five early signs and symptoms of labor coming soon:
- Nesting Instinct
- Losing Your Mucus Plug
- Braxton-Hicks Contractions
- Lightening – Baby Going Lower in Pelvis
- Increase in Vaginal Discharge
If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider right away!
You may feel a sense of “nesting” as you prepare for your baby’s arrival.
As you prepare for the arrival of your new baby, it’s completely natural to feel a sense of ‘nesting’ as you make sure everything is ready.
This instinctive behavior helps get parents into a routine before the baby arrives and allows them to become more familiar with their new environment.
Preparing items such as a crib or changing table are obvious steps to take when nesting but don’t forget the less visible preparations too.
It’s important you look into financial planning for your new addition, organize childcare options, join support groups or locate infant health resources in your area.
Doing this will help make the transition much smoother for you when your baby arrives.
Losing Your Mucus Plug
You may lose your mucus plug, which is a barrier that protects the cervix during pregnancy.
It is common for pregnant women to experience the loss of their mucus plug, which is an important sign that labor may be close.
The mucus plug serves as a protective barrier, guarding the cervix from infection and debris from entering the uterus during pregnancy.
It can often be found in one lump or in bits spread throughout the vaginal discharge. If you experience this manifestation, alert your care provider as this provides valuable insight into your labor timeline.
You may experience Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are practice contractions that help to prepare the uterus for labor.
Braxton-Hicks contractions, also known as practice contractions, are common in pregnancy and nothing to worry about.
They are your body’s way of getting ready for labor; the uterus is practicing squeezing and releasing to build up strength for when the baby is delivered.
While these contractions can be slightly uncomfortable, they won’t lead to any further action if they don’t become longer, stronger, or closer together.
It might be helpful to relax and enjoy the sensation of knowing that you are preparing yourself for the big day when you give birth!
Baby May Drop Lower Into Pelvis
The baby may drop lower into the pelvis in preparation for birth.
As the due date approaches, the baby may begin to prepare for delivery by using gravity to slowly shift down into the pelvis.
This dropping sensation is known as lightening, which may only be felt by a baby that has moved into a head-down position.
While this drop can cause relief in terms of pressure and provide more space for other organs and systems, it often results in difficulty breathing for the mother-to-be.
The decrease in lung capacity is usually tolerable but should always be monitored by her healthcare provider during the final weeks of pregnancy.
Increase in Vaginal Discharge
You may have an increase in vaginal discharge due to the increased blood flow to the area.
As your body prepares for your upcoming delivery, you may experience an increase in vaginal discharge that can be concerning.
This is completely normal due to the increased blood flow to the area. This increased blood brings more oxygen and nutrients to the area, leading to an increase in mucus production.
The mucus helps keep the delicate tissues moist and healthy as labor draws near.
It is important not to worry about this normal physiological change and contact your healthcare team if you have any concerns.
How Do You Feel 24 Hours Before Labor?
A woman’s body may feel a range of emotions and sensations 24 hours before labor.
It is common for the body to start to prepare for labor by softening the cervix and thinning the lining of the uterus.
Women may also experience increased contractions, backaches, cramping, abdominal aches, and other discomforts as labor approaches.
We hope that these tips have been helpful in preparing you and your family for the upcoming arrival of your baby.
These preparation steps can be exciting, but they may also come with a bit of anxiety. For this reason, it’s important to be sure that you’re taking care of yourself first and foremost.
If at any time during these preparatory months you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or midwife.
Ultimately, with the right level of planning and preparation, you can be sure that you’re as prepared as possible for when your little one arrives!