After being pregnant for so long you are probably anxiously awaiting to have this baby out of you and are all done with being pregnant, you want to see your feet and put on shoes that are cute but can’t because your feet are swelled up like small balloons or it’s just plain to hard to balance in cute shoes let alone get them on your feet! Maybe you want a glass of wine or mixed drink! I totally hear you that is why I wrote this post to share with you the signs that your body gives you a little before you start going into labor so you know the end is in sight now.
Every pregnancy is different whether this is your first baby or third one the signs may not be the same so be aware of that as you read on but also know that your mom instinct will probably know when the time is near. Especially if you are really in tune with your body!
The Very Early Signs Of Labor
You will find yourself organizing everything and trying to get it just the way you want it. This sometimes starts a week or so before you go into labor but for some it can happen earlier as well and some women never experience it at all. Does nesting mean labor is near well the answer is a bit cloudy, some say it’s an old wives tale and others swear by it so this one is a coin toss!!!
It is more common for pregnant women to get the urge to clean and organize during the spring or summer time because of the long winter, also boredom or frustration of being pregnant can make you feel like cleaning to pass the time. Also you may be thinking of how little time you will have once baby arrives to do any of these things so you are trying to get them done ahead of time and that is no joke once baby arrives you really have little time for anything!
Another common sign is your baby dropping sometimes called engaging where the babies head drops down in your pelvis and engages with your pubic bones giving you more room to breathe but also causing you to feel like your sitting on your babies head due to how low they are. This can cause some pain in the groin and hips because of this unless you are one of those lucky women that never experience this and your baby engages as you go into labor.
Your baby may do this a week or two before labor sometimes a few hours before or a month before so you may be uncomfortable for a little while which really isn’t new for you since the last trimester of pregnancy tends to be uncomfortable anyway. Just remember this is a good sign and baby will be showing up very soon!
Sleep problems are also a sign of labor being imminent, you may not be able to sleep as well and find yourself tossing and turning at night unable to get the sleep you need so badly or you may be so tired that you want to sleep all the time. Usually this starts a few days to a week before hand and can make you feel tired all the time and maybe a little grouchy due to the lack of sleep and being super uncomfortable.
A few women have felt like they had the flu a few days before labor! Feeling super tired and heavy and just plain run down.
If you are having trouble sleeping here is a post on how to sleep when pregnant it may help give you some tips you can use to get some much needed sleep these last few days or weeks!
Remember all of this will pass soon it isn’t forever thank God so hold on momma you are almost there.
You can try to take power naps if possible which will probably work better than night sleep in the last week, I recommend sleeping on the couch while watching a show you like this seems to help keep your mind occupied and you can doze off into a power nap for a few hours. It worked for me the last week of both my pregnancies so give it a try.
You may find yourself not eating as much and not feeling as hungry you may even feel a little nauseous, this is normal and it’s okay to eat smaller meals here or there so you don’t get that heavy overly full feeling. You might even have diarrhea or throw up which isn’t as common but does happen to some women due to fun hormone changes (always at fault it seems).
Very common to occur a few day to a week from labor and are perfectly normal. They feel like menstrual cramps and if you put a hand on your belly you can feel them contracting. Cramps usually are 10 to 15 minutes apart and last for half a minute or so they usually go away if you lay down and rest. Real Labor cramps will be closer together about 5 minutes apart and are more intense and last a minute or so getting longer and stronger every time.
This is your bodies way of preparing those muscles for the harder cramps that come with labor like a workout before hand so they are ready to go to work. Labor cramps are very strong and may be accompanied by back ache or pain and severe menstrual like cramps or upset stomach cramps and pain in your pelvis. Those are the ones that start you Labor so if you aren’t feeling them like this you aren’t in Labor yet.
Changes In Vaginal Discharge:
The biggest and not always common early sign of Labor is loosing your mucous plug which for me has happened the day before I went into Labor. It is the plug at the end of your cervix that protects the baby from infection and looks like a snot like mucus strand that usually comes out in a string and may have blood in it too so don’t be alarmed.
It can take hours for it to come out but is a sure sign Labor is very close so make sure you have everything ready because you never know when it may happen. It could be later that day or at night so you want to be prepared in case it does. My own experience with this was very fast both times, I lost my mucus plug and went into labor a few hours later.
Joints Feel Looser:
You may have more pain in joints as they start to relax and loosen up more to allow for the baby to pass through. This happens a few weeks before labor starts but can be a few days before. I had really bad arthritis in my hands and hips a few weeks before hand, I couldn’t even open a jar of mayo it was ridiculous lol! Just remember that this will pass and you may have pain now but after birth your body will feel a lot better when it comes to joint pain.
Your Water Breaks:
Your water can break with no contractions and just trickle down though you will know if this happens because you feel like you are using the bathroom uncontrollably it’s not a fun feeling i’m sorry to say. My best advice to you is to use a maxi pad (the thin but super absorbent ones) to avoid ruining clothing and car seats, I did this when my labor started and it works really well. If you are leaking fluid with no contraction call your doctor if it lasts more then 15 minutes. I had this happen to me and about ten minutes later I started having hard contractions!
FYI: You may also want to eat a little something if you haven’t because it will most likely be a long time other than a small snack here or there before you get to eat again unless you are one of those lucky people that give birth in a few hours.
If you have never been pregnant before you are probably wondering what labor feels like in the first place! Basically it feels like a terrible stomach ache or gas pains, some have a feeling like menstrual pains that comes on strong and lets up for a short time and comes back for a few hours or sometimes days. It could start in your back and get worse depending on the position your baby is in they could be pushing on a nerve! I also had back pain and I think that hurt the worst over regular labor pains in the front this was due to our baby being on his back face up called the occiput posterior position not the best way to be in labor but you don’t get a choice.
It’s not fun but we are strong women and we were made for this so it will be okay.
Having a baby is a big change especially if it is your first or second one you are going to have to adjust to a new schedule and way of life. You may be ready to meet baby right now and super tired of being pregnant and I totally understand, enjoy the time you have before your baby arrives. Take full advantage of quiet time or sleeping in, anything that you love to do try to enjoy that time and not rush the process of having your baby.
If you are seeing these signs have all of the essentials ready like car seat, baby clothes, diapers, bottles, etc so that you aren’t worried about any of these items as the time grows nearer and don’t forget your birth plan make sure it is all packed and close by encase the time comes suddenly and you have to go right away. You never know if it may happen at work or in the middle of the night just be ready.
If you really want to welcome your baby as soon as you can there are a few things you can try to speed things along such as going for a walk, having sex, some people swear that eating pineapple does the trick (I didn’t find that to work for me), spicy food, and your doctor can do a membrane sweep which will sometimes trigger labor to start a bit sooner (I had one done and the next day went into labor).
Babies all have a different time when they decide to come into the world, some are early (like my daughter who decided to be a month early), some are right on time on the due date, and some are a day or a few days sometimes a week after (my son waited till the day after my due date on my day off to come out). Whatever time your baby chooses is going to be the perfect time for them so don’t feel like you will be pregnant forever just know that they have their own timing and when they are ready they will finally come out. Sometimes I think it has to do with their personality lol but who knows for sure.
Hang in their momma you can do this for a little longer and it will all be so worth it!
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