As you’re nearing that due date and analysing every tiny moment of pain or change, you might become fixated on the signs you’re going into labour. Your little one is about to pop out any day now, so knowing the signals is important. Some will be *painfully* obvious, whereas others might be a surprise.
Here are some to look out for:
Your body is loosening and relaxing to get ready to push this baby out. With this comes a release of your bowels, how fun! The last few weeks before labour you might experience more diarrhea which is definitely annoying, but a normal sign to (begrudgingly) welcome.
As labour approaches, your baby will drop into your lower pelvis. You might find yourself waddling more than normal as the pressure increases on your pelvic area and bladder (more bathroom trips!) This could happen a few weeks or mere moments before labour begins, but you’ll notice the sudden space at the top of your stomach.
3. Heightened moodiness
Hormones will be running like crazy when labour is approaching! If tears are pricking your eyes more frequently than you’re used to it could be a sign your baby is gearing up to exit. This sign is pretty subtle so it may go pretty unnoticed as regular pregnancy emotions.
4. Harder time sleeping & fatigue
Feeling extra tired lately? The work your body is putting in can leave you feeling uncomfortable while asleep. Restless nights can make your levels of fatigue far stronger than normal. Take some extra time to relax during the day as all your energy is about to be zapped!
5. A change in your vaginal discharge
Another appealing part of pregnancy is the mucus plug in your cervix. What a lovely term! Before labour you might have a ‘show’ where you discharge a plug that looks like a tampon, small drops, or a large blob. Typically, you’ll see pink, brown, or red sticky discharge. Your body expels this protective layer to make room for your baby. The timing of the ‘show’ is different for every woman and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all until labour.
6. Your water breaks
As you’ve seen in the movies, this is the telltale sign your baby is making its way out! However, how this happens is actually another Hollywood misconception. Only a small portion of mamas will actually have their water break, and most won’t have the dramatic gush as you see on the big screen. So don’t be alarmed if this doesn’t happen. You might just notice a small trickle leading you to think it was simply a bladder leak.
7. Serious and consistent contractions
You may have felt some ‘simulated contractions’ or Braxton Hicks, but you’ll know when they’re no longer practice ones. If you notice the tightening (and painful!) sensation becoming more frequent and intense (around 20-30 minutes apart) it’s likely your body is preparing for labour. This is usually the strong sign you are looking for, and as they get to 5 minutes apart you will undoubtedly be heading for the hospital.
Around this time you might be itching for the sign that you’re finally about to meet your little one. Keep these changes in mind and have that hospital bag ready to go (unless you have a planned home birth). It’s almost your precious newborn’s birthday!