When women know their due date is approaching quickly, they tend to get quite nervous about what will happen. In order to get them calmer, today we decided to talk about some of the most common signs that delivery is right around the corner, how to spot them, and what they mean.
There are some very well known ones that we had to discuss, such as the water breaking or experiencing labor contractions. However, some signs are not that well heard of, like the loss or gain of appetite and experiencing shivers and feeling cold. We also talk a bit about the motherly intuition, as well as how animals can predict labor. It's always a good thing for pregnant ladies out there to be aware of all these potential signs, even if they don't end up experiencing all of them.
At the end of the day, every pregnancy is slightly different, which is why some women can experience most of these signs, while others experience only a few. The most important thing at this stage of pregnancy is for the soon-to-be-mom to take care of herself and to cherish those last couple of moments she will have as a pregnant lady.
So here they are, 20 signs that delivery might happen in a couple of hours!
20 Contractions That Are Strong And Regular
Everyone knows contractions are the most common sign of a coming delivery, but they can also be misleading. According to Live Science, a woman's uterus contracts her entire pregnancy, which is why it's hard sometimes to tell if it's happening or it's a false alarm. But if the contractions are strong, regular, rhythmic, and intense, and they are closer than five minutes apart for more than an hour or two — that is usually a good sign that it's about to happen. The contractions get more intense in order to move the baby down into a lower position and prepare for labor, and the contractions also help eventually push the baby out when it's time.
19 Diarrhea Is Quite Common
Next on our list of signs that can mean labor is happening really soon is diarrhea. While it is common to have diarrhea often throughout a pregnancy, mainly due to the changes a body goes through because of hormones and prenatal vitamins, according to Health Line, diarrhea can be a telltale sign of labor. Looser stool can indicate labor is right around the corner, so it is very important for the soon-to-be-mom to keep herself hydrated. Of course, if the diarrhea is persistent, and not really around the due date, it's always good to consult a doctor, especially if you're experiencing severe stomach pains.
18 Loads Of Acne
The next sign is one that soon-to-be-moms won't be too happy to hear about. Yes, you might have a zit here and there in those first photos with your newborn, but who cares, you just gave birth to a new life! According to Trimester Talk, another sign of delivery happening very soon could be breakouts. This can happen due to the increased hormone levels a few days before delivery, meaning by the time the zits show up, you should perhaps start packing your bag and getting in a car. However, not everyone experiences them, so if you don't have zits, it could still happen really soon!
17 The Baby Moves A Lot
Obviously, the baby already starts moving and kicking around way before labor, but by the time the body is ready for labor, the baby has grown and the movement gets much stronger, more intense and more frequent. According to the College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, up to the start of labor and even during early labor, the baby will continue to move around quite a lot. There's no need to worry about this as it is normal. If anything, it means the baby is healthy and full of energy. Try to enjoy these last moments of felling your precious one move inside you, because soon they will be out!
16 It Feels Like The Baby Dropped
The so-called "lightening" is one of the most common signs delivery is right around the corner. Again, according to Live Science, a woman "may look and feel as though the baby has dropped into a lower position in her pelvis." This means the baby has gotten into a head-down position in order to prepare for birth. While this can happen a bit earlier than just a few hours before delivery, if the mom has already previously given birth, chances are that lightening will happen only a couple of hours before delivery. Since the baby is now in a lower position, there isn't as much pressure on the diaphragm, which makes breathing a lot easier — just in time for labor!
15 Braxton Hicks Happening A Lot
What are Braxton Hicks, you're wondering? Baby Center writes how Braxton Hicks are basically "false labor." These are essentially pains that are similar to normal contractions in the sense that they are rhythmic and relatively close together, all of which can result in fooling you into thinking you're in labor. However, while Braxton Hicks, which are named after John Braxton Hicks, an English doctor who first described them in 1872, are a false alarm, they do get more frequent the closer one is to actual labor — which is why they should not be completely disregarded. Braxton Hicks happen most frequently when one is dehydrated, has a full bladder, or during physical activity.
14 Higher BP
Trimester Talk claims that another common sign of delivery happening soon is high BP, especially during the last day before labor. However, whenever a soon-to-be-mom notices she has high BP, she should notify her doctor, so that they can check whether she could have preeclampsia — a condition with high BP and protein in the urine. While preeclampsia isn't too dangerous, these signs should definitely be brought up to a doctor, and further on monitored by them. But this aside, high BP is very much expected to occur right before delivery, so this one can be a rather secure sign that it's about to happen.
13 Exhaustion And Tiredness Are Very Prominent
According to What To Expect, tiredness, laziness, and just a general feeling of being exhausted could also indicate labor is about to happen any moment now. Well, to be honest, that doesn't sound too good — who wants to be tired for labor? But don't worry, once it actually happens, a bunch of excitement and adrenaline will kick in and the exhaustion will be gone — at least in the beginning. However, one thing that is always recommended is that the soon-to-be-mom always makes sure to rest when feeling tired — no hard work allowed. Enjoy the fact that you can rest for now, because soon life will change.
12 Loss Or Gain Of Appetite
Next, on our list of common signs are loss and gain of appetite. Both can occur, and both are quite common, and women love discussing them on community forums such as Baby Center's. According to Mom Junction, loss of appetite occurs because the changes which happen in the body right before delivery can drain the mom of energy, thereby suppressing her hunger and resulting in her losing appetite. It is still very important to eat and to try to keep the food down, as energy is necessary for what's about to come. Other women, however, get very hungry, which can be interpreted as the body trying to store energy because it knows what it will go through. Our bodies are simply amazing, aren't they?
11 Doing The Dizziness Thing
Trimester Talk also mentions how dizziness right before labor is about to happen isn't too uncommon. It is important to let your doctor know of this symptom, so they can make sure to check BP as soon as possible in order to eliminate any potential conditions. Again, in the Baby Center Community, women seem to have often experienced dizziness quite soon before delivery, so it really shouldn't be something to worry about too much. The dizziness can often come in combination with nausea, and struggling to keep food down, which we already mentioned, can be signs that it's about to happen.
10 Vaginal Discharge Is Thicker And Pink
What To Expect lists "vaginal discharge changes in color and consistency" as another common sign labor is about to happen. The vaginal discharge does not only get thicker in consistency, but it also increases in amount. The color changes as well, to a slight pinkish one, and this is often called "show." However, without contractions or dilation accompanying it, labor could still be a couple of days away. Either way, most pregnant ladies can be almost certain that once they see the "show" labor is going to happen very soon. So yeah, start packing your hospital bag asap!
9 And The Mucous Plug Is Out
Another sign mentioned on What To Expect is the mucus plug falling out. The mucus plug is basically like a "cork" that seals the uterus from the rest of you, and once the body is ready for labor this "cork" falls out. In consistency, the mucus is similar to the one we find in our noses, and for some women, it falls out in one piece, while for others it comes out in multiple smaller pieces. However, sometimes the mucus plug stays put literally until delivery, so this is usually a last minute signal that delivery is about to happen very soon.
8 There's A Gut Feeling
Alright, whether you believe in this or not, lots of women have reported a gut feeling when they knew delivery is about to happen. According to My Baby's Heart Bear, you should absolutely never underestimate a gut feeling when it comes to this. Even if there are no other signs yet, the rest of them can happen literally half an hour before it's all about to go down. This is why women should rather be safe than sorry, and if they genuinely feel like it's about to happen, they should definitely get ready for it. After all, a woman's intuition is something we've all heard about.
7 Feeling Cold Is Common
Next, let's talk about feeling cold and shivering. According to BellyBelly, shivering can be one of the top seven signs labor is imminent. Some women don't experience the feeling of being cold per se, but they still do get the occasional shivers which can be quite frustrating, especially if one doesn't really know why they're happening. However, this is not something to be worried about, the shivering simply happens because the body is trying to relieve itself of tension, and the shivers usually only last for a couple of minutes. The best way to deal with them is to do something relaxing like taking deep breaths, getting under a blanket or having a warm shower.
6 The Urge To Pee Is Extreme
Peeing frequently is an issue throughout all of pregnancy, but it gets worse the closer the delivery date is. According to WebMD, this is very normal, even expected. It happens because the pressure on the bladder (which exists throughout all of the pregnancy) gets a lot stronger with the baby dropping. While, as we mentioned, this results in easier breathing and less pressure on the diaphragm, it also means the pressure on the bladder is immense at this point, and the mom feels like she needs to pee pretty much all the time — even if she doesn't really. The good thing is this feeling won't last for too long anymore!
5 Bad Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is prominent during a lot of the pregnancy and especially the bigger the baby bump gets, but it can intensify right before labor. According to Live Science, this can happen because of the common cramping in the pelvic and rectal areas. Women have described the feeling as quite similar to the kind of back pain which is often experienced during periods, but it is generally nothing to be worried about. Pain in the back area is definitely expected at this point, and while it can be very difficult to deal with, soon the pressure on the area should be relieved.
4 It's Difficult To Walk And Talk
According to Bloomlife, another sign of labor around the corner can be difficulty walking and talking. This can be due to multiple reasons such as feeling tired and exhausted, which we've already talked about, experiencing pains that enable one to walk or talk such as lower back pain and contractions, as well as just a general mood the mom finds herself in. These last couple of hours before it's really about to happen, it isn't so unusual for the mother to take a deep breather and have a moment for herself. And we definitely applaud that, take that time!
3 The Pet Is Acting Different
Yes, we agree, this might not be the most reliable sign on the list, but do not underestimate the power of animals. My Baby's Heartbeat Bear writes about how animals can have rather specific changes in behavior around the time labor's about to happen. They somehow just seem to know when things are happening. This means your dog or cat might not leave your side for a couple of days before labor, or they might start acting differently a couple of hours before it. Either way, paying attention to what they're doing differently might hint at about what's to happen.
2 The Cervix Dilates
Okay, let's move on to a more reliable sign that delivery is about to start happening soon: the cervix starting to dilate. What To Expect states that the cervix can start opening and thinning out a couple of days before delivery, but some pregnant women have experienced it happening even closer to their delivery date. Everyone's progress when it comes to cervix dilation can be slightly different, but once your doctor measures the dilation at your weekly checkup and notices a difference, you can start expecting that labor could happen quite soon. The body is definitely starting to prepare itself for it.
1 The Water Broke
Lastly, this one may be obvious, but we had to include it regardless: the water breaking. While you'd think that this one is quite easy to recognize, according to Mayo Clinic, not everyone immediately knows their water broke. As we've already mentioned, there is immense pressure on the bladder, which is why women sometimes happen to confuse amniotic fluid and urine. And truth be told, sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference, which is why it's always recommended to head to the delivery facility and have a professional check, just in case. If it is the water that broke, labor will follow soon.