The age old question every woman asks when expecting a baby is “when will I know if I’m in labor.” While my doctor was very clear that I would absolutely know by the pain and intensity of the contractions when it’s real labor, the anticipation up to that point is enough to drive you bonkers. The only piece of mind I had when my due date came and went was the fact that the baby had to come out at some point and I would not be waiting forever, even though to definitely felt like it. If it gives you peace of mind to know labor is around the corner then here are 8 early signs telling you baby is on their way.
1. Consistent Braxton Hicks
Are your Braxton Hicks starting to get more regular and consistent? That could be a sign labor is on it’s way. Braxton Hicks are when those pesky stomach muscle tighten, much like a contraction, except they can happen for weeks or months before labor actually starts. However if they start to get closer together and more consistent they could very well be turning into full on contractions.
2. Period-Like Cramps
The start of labor can be slow, you often won’t even realize your body is gearing up for baby’s big debut. One of the early signs that often goes unnoticed is period-like cramps. While your whole body is achy and sore at this point you may hardly notice a few cramps here and there. But sure enough they can be a tell-tale early labor sign.
3. Swollen “bits”
As the baby presses down and the pressure mounts you may start to feel a bit swollen down under. This is super normal in the late stages of pregnancy as your baby gets into position to make their way out. Good news, while uncomfortable, it can also mean you even closer to meeting your precious bundle.
4. Losing Your Plug or Show
In the last days of pregnancy you may be told to watch out for your “mucus plug” or “bloody show.” This is the cork that seals the cervix which may come out during one, or many, of your bathroom trips and looks like blood streaked mucus – hence the name. If you loose it and you’re not having contractions or dilating it may mean labor is still be several days away.
5. Rumbly Tummy
If you feeling a bit rumbly in the tummy or even having diarrhea, don’t panic, it’s actually a good thing. As our bodies get ready for labor, our muscles relax. Yup, which means you could easily have a few loose bowel movements in the run up the main event. Better to get it all out now, anyway!
6. Urge To Nest
Some moms say the last days and weeks before the baby arrives their urge to nest is in overdrive. Even with the third trimester struggles, much similar to the first, the desire to clean and organize can be overwhelming. Make the most of your newfound energy and prepare some freezer meals and pack that hospital bag.
7. The Baby Drops
As the end of your pregnancy nears your baby will start to “drop” into position and make their way down. If you thought you already had the pregnancy waddle down, just wait.