Know the early signs of labor – By Dr. Sudha Jetly

Anju Bisht

, Health A2Z

The moment you’ve been happily waiting for and somewhere nervous about. Well, you are close to meet your bundle of joy with approaching labor.


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A pregnant mother worries enough about what would be the early signs of labor. Wonders about multiple things, as to how, would labor feel, how long will it take, and whether the feeling is true or are just false alarm?


Answers to such questions are hard to predict as the signs of labor are way more subtle and every birth is different too. However, a women’s body always shows some early signs of labor and to understand them, we have listed them below.


Early signs of labor: Your body is preparing for Birth


With approaching labor, every pregnant mom will have unique and different experiences. Normal labor begins 10 days before the due date, however, you cannot predict exactly when a woman will go into labor. It’s not that you will suddenly go into labor, your body will let you know beforehand about you approaching active labor. As for early signs of labor, contraction and water breaking is the most common one.


Active labor is a situation when things start to happen. In that situation, you will start to notice the signs telling that labor is here, include:


1. Lightening


Lightening also refers to baby “drops” which means when a baby’s head moves deep down to the pelvis. Then, women may feel the heaviness or pressure in the pelvis. Further, the urge for urination may increase due to the pressure on the urinary bladder.



2. Passage of mucus plug


The cervical gland produces a thick mucus to keep the opening of the cervical close during pregnancy. The passage of this mucus plug is early signs of labor as this mucus needs to be expelled before delivery. Exerted pressure by baby head leads to the blood-tinged vaginal discharge also known as bloody show.


3.  Cervical dilatation and effacement


The cervix dilates (opens) can be detected by a healthcare professional during a pelvic examination. The dilatation is the sign that tells about approaching labor. The cervix dilates will happen slowly at first but will progress more quickly as you approach active labor.


likewise, effacement or thinning of the cervix is also detected by doctors. Efface of the cervix happens days or weeks before you deliver. Everyone process differently so don’t worry if you have the process is slow or not begins early.


4. Contractions


Contractions can be occasions in the last few months but it becomes stronger and regular with the onset of active labor. It can vary from women to women describing as similar to menstrual cramps.


Where irregular contractions are known as Braxton-Hicks contractions or false labor that occurs during the end of pregnancy. False labor contractions are milder than those of true labor. When the intervals of contractions are 10 min apart, this signals early signs of labor.


5. Changing Mood


With a super-large belly and active bladder making it tough for you to sleep well. Altogether you may feel exhausted and tried for the same take naps during the daytime if you can. In some pregnant’s there would be bursting energy, excitement and irresistible urge of nesting with the onset of labor.



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6. Bowel Movement: diarrhea


Though diarrhea is a good sign and completely normal, you must stay hydrated. With the uterus muscles, other muscles in the body (including rectum’s muscles) tend to relax as they are preparing for the birth. Which causes diarrhea.


7.  Cramps and Back pain


Approaching labor especially if its first pregnancy, you will feel leg cramps and experience backache or heaviness on your back when you go into active labor. As your muscles and joints are stretching and shifting in preparation for birth.


8. Nausea


Some women might feel nauseated and experience vomit in their labor process. If you do vomit, fill yourself with enough water or fluid as much as you can.


9. Water breaking


Rupture of the amniotic sac or breaking water means disruption of the amniotic sac that surrounds the baby, which results in the amniotic fluid leakage from the vagina. In general, this amniotic fluid is odorless as well as colorless. If the leakage is spontaneous, consulting a care provider immediately would better.




Nearing to end your pregnancy day’s and close to bringing you little one into this world, you can do it! If this is your first time you might mistake false alarm of labor as a true one. So, know the difference between the true and false ones, contraction felt in the front, irregular, unpredictable pattern, changes in position leads to slow or stoppage of contraction are all the signs of false alarm. Further, if you have any doubts we have experienced doctors to provide assistance or advice.


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