The last few weeks of pregnancy can be tough. Most mothers have feelings of exhaustion, excitement and fear. Women feel exhausted because of lack of sleep. They feel excitement because they get to meet their babies, and fear because labor is so unpredictable. The end of pregnancy is particularly nerve wracking because it’s hard to tell when labor will begin. These feelings often lead mothers to search for any signs of impending labor. Besides the usual signs like their water breaking or contractions most women have no clue if labor is about to start. Each woman will experience impending labor symptoms differently. However, it is still important to recognize the unusual signs of labor so that it will help you better prepare for labor and delivery.
Labor is divided into three stages. The first stage is early labor. This is when the cervix thins out and dilates. This is normally the longest stage of labor, but it’s also the least intense. The second stage is active labor. During this stage of labor the cervix begins to dilate more rapidly and contractions are stronger and more consistent. The last stage of labor is the delivery of the placenta. It’s good to know the stages of labor to help mothers know what to expect. However, what if there were other unusual signs that our bodies give to let us know labor is impending? Here is a list of the most unusual signs of labor, to help you know when your baby will arrive.
Diarrhea is a very unpleasant thing to experience. During pregnancy it can be even more unpleasant due to all of the other unpleasant symptoms moms experience. However, there is a good reason why most women experience diarrhea before going into labor. Before labor your body goes into a state for relaxation in order to accommodate your baby passing through the birth canal. Not only does it relax your joints but also the muscles that control bowel movements. Also, some doctors believe that the emptying of the bowels is the bodies way of making room for the baby. Even if though having diarrhea isn’t fun, look at it as you being on step closer to meeting your sweet baby.
If you are far along in your pregnancy, have you noticed that you constantly want to clean or organize? Did you have the feeling that everything needed to be perfect in order for your baby to arrive? Or did you suddenly get a burst of energy? If you have experienced these things, it’s called nesting. Nesting is Mother Nature's way of helping mothers prepare for the arrival of their babies. Some women experience nesting few weeks before labor, and some experience it a few days before labor. If you find yourself doing or feeling any of these things, it might be cause for celebration. It means that your body is gearing up to go into labor.
Sorry that you are tossing and turning at night mama. Yes, these sleepless nights could be caused by being uncomfortable, but it could also meaning something more. Insomnia could also mean that your baby is ready to make its appearance any day now. Labor is a very strenuous process and you want to make sure you have enough energy to get you through. The best way to combat your insomnia is try to relax as much as possible. Drinking a hot cup of tea and just laying down will help you rest up before you go into labor. Eliminating electronic devices 30-45 minutes before bed can also help prepare your body for a goodnights rest. No one knows why some women experience insomnia before labor. Though, it could be Mother Nature’s way of preparing you for sleepless nights with your newborn.
12 Mucus plug
Loosing your mucus plug is also referred to as “bloody show”. A mucus plug is often a snotty consistency streaked with blood. The mucus plug serves as a protective barrier between the vaginal canal and the cervix. The mucus thickens over the course of pregnancy in the cervix to protect the baby and the womb from infection. The loss of your mucus plug means that your body is moving in the direction of labor. You may lose your mucus plug while going to the bathroom, so you may not know that you’ve lost it. If you happen to loss your mucus plug in conjunction with consistent contractions, chances are you are on your way to delivering your bundle of joy. However, don’t be disappointed if you have bloody show and it’s a no show for your baby. Sometimes, labor doesn’t begin right after losing it.
11 Emotional Breakdown
Moms have reported having an emotional breakdown or a series of emotional breakdowns right before going into labor. Pregnancy is an emotional thing as it is, so what makes the end of pregnancy emotional breakdown different? Nothing really except it happens at the end of the pregnancy. A serge of hormones could be responsible for this extreme wave of emotions. Or it could be the combination of the lack of sleep and excitement that makes moms overwhelmed. Some mothers have said right before labor started , that they cried all day long over minor things. If you have shed tears over television commercials or seeing a picture of a cute puppy, labor may be right around the corner for you. Though these scenarios aren’t funny at the time, it will sure be a hilarious moment to look back on once you become a mom. When feeling emotional right before labor, take a few deeps breaths and focus on the fact that you will be holding a cuddly newborn soon.
10 Weight Loss
You’ve spent your entire pregnancy putting on weight. Toward the end of pregnancy weight gain may cease or you may actually lose weight. This weight loss usually occurs a week before the onset of labor. Some women lose 1-3 pounds of weight right before they go into labor. The reason for this weight loss is due to hormonal changes at the end of pregnancy. Most of the weight is usually water weight that was collected in body tissues during pregnancy. This water weight is expelled through sweat and urine. When the number on the scale goes down at the end of pregnancy, you can wait in anticipation for when your labor will begin.
9 Flu Like Symptoms
Flu like symptoms without fever, chills, vomiting, coughing and achey can be signs of impending labor. However, if you experience these symptoms and are unsure please contact your doctor. It could be a sign of a more serious condition. If it isn’t a serious condition these symptoms usually disappear within a day or two. Women who have experienced these flu-like symptoms have said they usually came a day or two before they went into labor. Some have said that the ill feeling hits them suddenly after having a wonderful burst of energy. Flu-like symptoms are yet another not so pleasant signal that your body is preparing to go into labor. Though it’s not a pleasant sign, it can be the light at the end of your long pregnancy journey.
8 Can Breathe Easier
Huffing and puffing is something you get used to when you are pregnant. Even a short walk to the bathroom is enough to make a mommy winded. At the end of your pregnancy your huffing and puffing may suddenly stop. The reason you are able to breathe easier during the end of your pregnancy is because your baby has dropped into your pelvis. When the baby drops into your pelvis it’s called “lightening”. The baby will engage their head in your pelvic bone. This leaves more room for your lungs to expand. You may find that you are able to take long walks without feeling out of breath. You may also find that you feel lighter as well. Now that you know this is a symptom that labor is near, you can definitely rest assured and breathe easier.
7 Loss of Appetite
Pregnancy is like a roller coaster. You probably spent your first trimester trying to keep food down, due to morning sickness. Then your appetite more than likely picked up during the second and third trimester. This is a glorious feeling to most mothers who just wanted to enjoy their favorite foods. Unfortunately, the lack of appetite you felt in your first trimester may come back before you go into labor. If you had a healthy appetite in your final weeks of pregnancy and are suddenly hit with a sour stomach, you may be going into labor soon. In order to help your tummy, you can consume broths, crackers, and other light snacks. You want to make sure your body has enough fuel to complete the marathon known as labor.
6 Pet Very Clingy
When you come home does your dog or cat constantly follow you? Or do they lay at your feet every chance they get? Pets are very sensitive to changes going on with their owners. So it’s no surprise that a family pet will sense when a baby is about to arrive. Owners may notice that their fur baby is unusually anxious. They may also follow you to the bathroom. They also may start whining if they have to be apart from you. Don’t feel alarmed, your pet is just sensing that labor is impending. This behavior is quite endearing and can a bonding experience for you and your cuddly pet. Take it as a sign that they are in tune with you and your precious baby. After all, they will also be apart of your family. Give your pet a little extra love before the baby arrives to let them know they won’t be left out.
5 Feeling Off
Moms have said that right before they go into labor they “feel off”. It’s hard for them to describe this feeling but some have also used words such as “feeling weird”, “feeling blah”, or “feeling strange”. You may become suddenly anxious or impatient. Some have also said that they felt an unusual rush of peace and calmness before labor hit. These feelings can be an indication that your body is preparing to go into labor. These odd feelings could be caused by a surge of hormones. Your sense of feeling off could also be your mommy instincts kicking in letting you know that big day is around the corner. You can document these feelings when they happen, and once your baby is born go back an see if they were clues that labor was impending.
4 Specific Food Cravings
It’s 6:00 am and you really want a double cheeseburger with extra pickles and a orange juice, since you can’t have that you continue to daydream about eventually eating your dream meal. This is an example of a specific craving mothers experience right before labor starts. Some moms have said that they didn’t have cravings throughout their pregnancy, but right before they went into labor they had intense cravings for foods they wouldn’t normally eat. The best guess as to why this happens is that your body is trying to fuel up on calorie dense foods before the onset of labor. It is okay to give into these cravings just as long as it’s not enough to give you an upset stomach. Also, it makes a really nice treat before delivery since some hospitals don’t let you eat during labor. So fuel up momma, you deserve it.
3 Intense Back Pain
Women experience a lot of back pain during pregnancy. This back pain comes from a combination of carrying extra weight in your stomach which causes a shift in your posture. However, if you have been having a back ache that radiates down to your bottom and thighs, this could be a sign of labor. On average these back pains can turn into real contractions that wrap around to your lower abdominal region. One way to tell if these are real contractions is by timing their consistency. It also may be real contractions if your back pains come in waves. You can begin timing these waves, and if you see a pattern then that means it’s baby time. A hot shower can also help ease the pain of back aches, however if that doesn’t work that means your contractions are the real deal.
2 Dreams of Labor
Having dreams of labor before labor starts can be an indication that your almost to the finish line. There are instances where women have said they had a dream of their water breaking, and when they awoke their water had broken their sleep. Some have also said that they actually felt real labor pains during these dreams, only to have their labor feel the exact same way. Beside the fact that it’s incredible, these dreams of labor can serve as indication that labor will soon be starting.
Have you been snappy towards your loved ones lately? Or have you felt like your mood swings have increased, and you are on a emotional roller coaster? If yes, then you may be about to go into labor. The moodiness you may feel before labor is very similar to the moodiness you experience during PMS. If you are feeling particularly down during the last few weeks of pregnancy, take comfort in the fact that it will be over soon. You will soon be meeting your baby and those feelings of moodiness will be replaced with joy and happiness. As for your loved ones, just explain to them that you mean no harm when you get snippy, it’s just apart of pregnancy. They are sure to understand and provide support to you during your last days of pregnancy.