How do you know Labour is approaching?
Getting to the home stretch of your pregnancy you are probably thinking... when will it happen! You're probably so excited to meet your new baby, but perhaps also, a little uncomfortable in the later stages of pregnancy. In this article we will summarize some to the signs that labor may be starting, as well as sharing what some other Mum's have said they experienced before their Labour started.
Urge to Clean and "Nesting"Despite the size of your bump and tiredness, you'll be running around your home cleaning everything in sight, decorating, washing and washing again. Some believe this is a natural urge, as your body is preparing your environment for your new arrival.
More frequent Braxton Hicks
You may feel more and more tightening. This can be your body training for the big day. Remember the difference between Braxton Hicks and Contractions, are that Contractions grow in intensify and tend to have a pattern, whereas Braxton Hicks are often far more mild (sometimes unnoticeable) and do not increase in frequency or strength.
Loose Bowl Movements
Some Mum's have reported that they had many loose bowl movements in the hours leading up to their Labour. This is less of an old wives tale, as loose stools or diarrhea can be a sign of impending Labour caused by the release of hormones called prostaglandins, according to the Endocrine Society.* Having the runs a day or two before labor starts also is the body's way of emptying the bowels to allow the uterus to contract efficiently.
Baby Dropping or Lightening
This is when you feel like your baby has dropped lower into your pelvis, also called "lightening," actually does mean that your little one has settled deeply into your pelvis, making their way toward the cervix in preparation to push through and be born.* It can happen from a few weeks to a few hours before you actually go into Labour and can usually be confirmed by your midwife. When your baby does drop, you may find you can breathe more easily since your baby will have moved away from your lungs—but you also may have to pee more often, since there will be increased pressure on your bladder.
Real Signs that Labour has begun
The NHS shares the following as key signs that Labour has started or might be starting, which include:
- Contractions or tightenings.
- a "show", when the plug of mucus from your cervix (entrance to your womb, or uterus) comes away
- an urge to go to the toilet, which is caused by your baby's head pressing on your bowel
- your waters breaking
Urgent advice: Remember to call your midwife or maternity unit if:
- your waters break
- you have vaginal bleeding
- your baby is moving less than usual
- you're less than 37 weeks pregnant and think you might be in labour
- These signs mean you need to see a midwife or doctor.