Am I Going Into Labor?

Your pregnant body may give you some signals right before you are going to go into labor. If you experience any of these signs, your baby could soon be on the way!

woman in labor

Lightening

As your baby begins to drop down lower into your pelvis, you may experience what’s called “lightening.” This is defined by a heavy feeling in your pelvis. As baby gets lower in preparation for birth, you’ll feel less tightness or pressure in your ribcage -- so you can breathe easy!

Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks actually start very early in your pregnancy, yet you won’t be able to feel them until near the middle to end of your pregnancy. They become more frequent -- and more intense -- as you get closer to delivery, so they are often defined as false labor. However, don’t assume Braxton Hicks contractions aren’t a true sign that baby is on the way. If you 37 weeks along or beyond and having frequent and heavy contractions, notify your doctor right away.

Bloody show

Okay, this term is slightly gross and pretty graphic, but it’s not as much of a horror flick as it sounds. If you pass your mucus plug -- a gnarly term for a thick mucus that “plugs” the cervical canal during pregnancy -- it may appear brown, pink or red, which is how it garners its name “bloody show.” There is no need to panic if you lose your mucus plug or experience a bloody show. However, it is a sign that your cervix is beginning to efface or you are dilating in preparation for labor.

Your water breaks

This is a biggie! Your amniotic sac may break soon after experiencing contractions or it could break without experiencing contractions yet. If your amniotic sac does not break naturally, it will be ruptured by your doctor during labor/delivery.

Your water breaking may be a slight stream or it could be a heavy gush. Either way, once your water breaks delivering baby is eminent since he is now subject to germs and infection without the amniotic sac protecting him. If your water breaks, call your doctor right away -- you’re about to meet your baby!

More on labor

8 Natural ways to induce labor
Are you in labor?
Preparing for emergency birth

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