As a woman’s due date approaches, it’s easy for moms to worry about how and when labor is going to begin. However, there are several early warning signs that will let you know that your little one will be arriving soon.
Signs of Labor
Make sure to pay close attention to the following signs. They are the best ways to know when your baby is ready to make their presence.
1. The Baby Drops
One easy way to be able to tell that labor should begin soon is that you will feel the baby drop farther down into your pelvis. You’ll be able to breathe more easily since the baby has moved away from your lungs, but you will probably feel a lot more pressure in your pelvis and the increased urge to urinate.
People around you may comment on the fact that your belly looks like it has dropped. For a first-time mom, the baby can drop down into your pelvis as early as two weeks before labor begins, but it can also happen just hours before labor. Either way, when the baby drops, you’ll know that your baby’s birthday is quickly approaching.
2. Increased Cramping and Contractions
As labor approaches, you may find that you feel more cramping and that those pesky Braxton-Hicks contractions happen more frequently. These are signs your body is preparing itself for the big day.
If you become concerned that labor is actually starting, take a moment to change your activity level. If you’ve been resting, get up and walk around. If you’ve been busy, sit down, put your feet up, and drink a glass of water. If the cramping and contractions slow down or go away entirely, you’ll know that it’s not D-day yet. However, if you find your contractions increasing in frequency and intensity no matter what you do, go ahead and call your doctor!
3. Diarrhea and/or Vomiting
As your body gears up for labor, you may find that you begin to have frequent, loose stools. This is your body preparing for labor by eliminating solid waste as quickly as possible.
Your body’s urge to quickly rid itself of solid waste may also result in nausea or vomiting. Either way, if your body begins to react differently, it’s a sure sign that labor isn’t far away.
4. Loss of Mucus Plug and/or Increased Vaginal Discharge
You may find that your vaginal discharge increases and changes as labor nears. You may also find thick, stringy mucus that is tinged with brown, pink, or red. This mucus has been plugging your cervix during pregnancy to protect your uterus from germs, so once this mucus leaves your body, you’ll know that your cervix is opening up and that labor will be on its way before long.
5. Sudden Burst of Energy
You may find your nesting instincts kick in and you have a sudden burst of energy as your body gears up for labor. If you find yourself doing odd things like scrubbing your bathroom floors with a toothbrush, washing every item of clothing in the house, or deep cleaning every square inch of your kitchen, there’s a good chance your delivery day is not far away.
While it’s fine to give the urges of delivery, make sure you don’t overdo it. Your body will need as much rest as possible!