Signs And Symptoms Vary

Not only are there are many different signs of labor, each of the symptoms may be experienced differently from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Childbirth Educator Kira Smith (ICCE) offers some tips on recognizing the signs of labor.
Kira Smith , ICCE

Your question
What are a few of the signs that labor will really be starting soon? - Teresa in Nebraska

The expert answers
Not only are there are many different signs of labor, each of the symptoms may be experienced differently from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy.

Some early signs that labor may be starting soon include the "nesting instinct" or a sudden burst of energy. Some women, especially first-time moms, notice that the baby has "dropped," that is, his or her head has become engaged in your pelvis and is noticeably lower. You may feel you have more room to breathe and feel hungrier.

On the other hand, with the baby's head engaged in your pelvis, you may feel even more pressure on your bladder.

Another labor sign to be aware of is that when you go to the bathroom, you may notice mucus on the toilet paper. This may appear as the mucus plug starts to dissolve from the cervix. You may also notice some bloody show which is mucus tinged with blood. As labor progresses, you will have more and more "bloody show" as tiny capillaries in the cervix break as it dilates.

Flu-like symptoms, including mild nausea and diarrhea, are yet another sign that labor may be imminent. You may feel a low backache that comes and goes, or you may feel like you are having menstrual cramps. An increase in contractions, whether painful or not, is another sign that labor may be starting.

All the above are only some of the many possible signs of labor -- and, depending on your circumstances and your body, may or may not mean something. The only definite signs that labor really will be starting soon are regular contractions and your water breaking.

The very best way to judge whether it's "real labor" or not is when it's all over. Real labor always results in the birth of a baby!

- Kira Smith, M.Ed, ICCEPregnancyAndBaby.com

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Comments

Stephanie h June 20, 2015
@charmaine Connell are you for real?!?! As in, are you a bot? Or from the 1800s?
arrow June 15, 2015
IM 37 weeks and 2 days woak up at 4:30 with mild cramps dull achy back filling sick i layed down on my left side for about an hour kinda better but is my baby fixing to come? My water has not broke or i have not lost my plug yet
Nicola brasier June 07, 2015
Im a lesbian having a baby and guess what.....im a real woman too. Get a grip on life
charmaine connell May 26, 2015
That is very disrespectful putting these two women on there kissing. Can two women have a baby together. Nasty an dissin real women for real.take them off.
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Kelly October 27, 2014
I've had nausea and pelvic pain and pressure,period like cramps for the past couple days. I'm 33 weeks and have been to the hospital 3 times for this. What should I do about it.
amrita April 07, 2013
my due date is 11 april bt my labour pain not start,my dr.advice me to inducing labour bt i m worried bcoz most of the cases inducing labour get failed and delivery take place by c.section..and i don,t wont ceaserion....my all reports are normal so why my labour pain getting late....
Anna February 22, 2013
My due date is today and I have had bad diarrhea for a week now really bad today. I have lower back aches and pain on my right side. When I go to stand I wanna cry the pain is so bad but then it eases away when I walk. I'm having extreme pelvic pain and pressure and it feels like someone is stabbing me in the vagina.. could I be in labor???
Anna February 22, 2013
My due date is today and I have had bad diarrhea for a week now really bad today. I have lower back aches and pain on my right side. When I go to stand I wanna cry the pain is so bad but then it eases away when I walk. I'm having extreme pelvic pain and pressure and it feels like someone is stabbing me in the vagina.. could I be in labor???
dinah February 13, 2013
I have diarrhea and nausea. And I have notice some white stuff in my urine like pieces of toilet tissues. It can be labor sigh? And backpain that come every after 10 minutes.
dinah February 13, 2013
I have diarrhea and nausea. And I have notice some white stuff in my urine like pieces of toilet tissues. It can be labor sigh?
BJSMOMTOBE December 25, 2012
For the last three nights ive been awaken with
The most painful stomach cramps that literally
Take my breathe away im unable to speak. Do u
Think labor could be coming soon. Oh.yeah im
38.weeks and one.day
Jamie April 23, 2012
hello! i am having my second child but my first was induced 2 weeks early. i see my dr in a week or so but was wondering if the changes i have noticed are signs i will be going into labor soon or if its just my bodys way of accommodating my growing child. i have a ton of what i thought were braxton hicks contractions 2 days ago, they didnt stop when i drank, ate or stopped exercise, they actually got a bit stronger when i stopped moving. ever since then i have been having back pains, almost cramp like, that are sometimes mild and sometimes very strong almost bringing me to tears. i have noticed when i go to the restroom that when i wipe things down there feel swollen and i when i sit down i can feel pressure in my belly almost like my baby is so low that im pushing it back upward. the baby dropped about 2-3 inches (or at least my belly did) when i had what i thought were braxton hicks contractions. just curious as to what may be going on, am i getting ready to start labor or am i just paranoid, i have a toddler at home and am home alone during the day so trying to get to the hospital would be difficult and i just want to know the earliest signs my body is preparing to start labor so i can have family ready and able to help out. thanks!