Signs Labor Is Near: False Alarm or Real Deal?

The clock is ticking, and as you near your last weeks of pregnancy, it seems like the ticking is getting slower and slower. You might be holding your breath for any sign labor is near and it’s understandable.
Some of the most common signs that labor is near are some weight loss, pain in your lower back, red mucous discharge, contractions, and water breaking.
Before you start waiting on these signs, you should know that every woman’s experience is different. You might not even get all these signs, and that’s nothing to worry about. There are other multiple signs that you may feel.
Stick around to know more about what you might expect during labor.

Understanding Labor

Before we dive into the telltale signs of labor, it’s crucial to understand what labor itself entails. Hollywood has probably given you the stereotypical screaming woman-in-labor idea, but it’s usually far off.
The process of labor begins right when you start to feel the tension in your womb alerting you of what’s to come. Interestingly, doctors are still unsure of how this process is incited, but they suspect that the fetus emits certain hormones that trigger labor.
The contractions are a means of opening up and thinning out your cervix to make way for the baby’s departure from the womb through the birth canal.
Following the baby’s delivery, the placenta comes after. Having said that, it’s not always like this and some births carry different stages. That’s especially true if it’s not a natural birth; maybe a C-section delivery.

Signs Labor Is Near

Now, it’s time to look at the signs in-depth and understand how each one will feel. This might come in handy to have a good idea of what to expect.

Sign #1: Contractions

This is the main sign that you’re most likely going to experience. We’re not going to lie; this sign might be discomforting. The best thing you can do is to keep your breathing leveled.
These sorts of labor contractions will feel like a painful period cramp. They basically help you push the baby out of your womb. This sign will help you figure out if you’re in labor or if it’s a false alarm.
The first thing you want to do is time these contractions. If you’re in too much pain, you can ask your spouse or a close relative to assist you with timing them. You, or they, need to make sure they’re timed at least ten minutes apart.
Each contraction might go on for around 30 to 70 seconds. As the labor becomes nearer, the contractions will become more intense and recurring.
At some point during the tension, you might not be able to walk and will need to remain seated or laid down.
On the other hand, if the contractions start to feel easier, you’re not going into labor. These non-labor tensions are also called Braxton Hicks contractions. You can feel them on the lower part of your stomach and if you move around, they might go away.

Sign #2: Bloody Discharge

As you soon feel the beginning of the contractions, your mucus plug will slowly find its way out. During your whole pregnancy, the mucus plug is blocking the baby’s way out to protect them from any potential infections.
Since the cervix will start to thin and become wider, the mucus plug will slide its way down along with some blood. This is commonly referred to as the bloody show.
It might either come down in small intervals or one blob of mucus. It could also look pink since it would be slightly stained with blood or brownish from old blood.
Although a bloody show is one of the many signs of going into labor, it could sometimes take a while after losing it to go into labor. It could take a few days and sometimes weeks. In some cases, the mucus plug might even regenerate.
It’s best to check for other signs of labor when experiencing a bloody show. If there seems to be excess blood overflowing, then it’s best to contact your healthcare professional immediately.

Sign #3: Amniotic Sac Burst

When a woman in a movie yells, “My water broke!” It’s an indication that the amniotic sac has burst open. Don’t worry, though, you most likely won’t feel that large gush of water flooding out.
Instead, the fluid will probably seep out in small quantities since the baby’s form will act as a stopper.
Once the amniotic sac is ruptured, you have no choice but to give birth after. This is because the sac prevents infection from reaching your baby. You'll need to start the process within a day or two at most.
If you’re not feeling the other signs of labor, then you’ll most likely have to go through a labor induction.
Water breaking doesn’t necessarily happen to all pregnant women. A small 8 to 10 percent of pregnant women experience a water break. In most cases, either your doctor or midwife will physically rupture the sac during your labor.

Sign #4: Lightening

Your baby is telling you that it’s ready to leave the womb as it turns its head towards the cervical region.
You’ll feel like you want to urinate constantly, but the best part is that you’ll get to breathe more freely since the fetus is moving away from your lungs.
Lightening can happen either a few weeks before labor or during the actual process.

Conclusion

A miracle of life can take a while to come out. Watching out for the signs of labor is vital to expecting healthy childbirth. You should also take into great consideration that you might not be dealing with some of these signs.
If you do forgo one of them, make sure to keep in contact with your doctor or midwife and be very detailed with your descriptions.
Before you get any of the signs, we recommend taking it easy and enjoying your last few moments before you’re brought into the new world of parenting.