Ah, labour. The most anticipated event all pregnant women think about. It is the cause of excitement, fear, and anxiety. It is something that many mothers lose sleep over for fear of the pain and duration of labour. Other mothers find excitement in the inevitable event of going into labour and meeting their baby for the first time. The signs and symptoms of labour's fast approach can be exciting if you know what they mean.
However, every woman and every pregnancy is different, and may not experience the same symptoms the upcoming weeks to the day you go into labour. Many women look out for any signs of labour, especially during the last week of pregnancy. Your body begins to change, as it gets ready for your baby to be born. Here are ten things to expect in the week before labour.
10 Bump Has Dropped
This is your baby getting ready to come out by settling into a position lower down in your pelvis.The ideal position is head-down, but your baby might also be in the breached position. According to Health Line, "Every pregnancy is different. While labour isn’t far off for some women when their baby drops, others may have weeks to go. And some never really feel their baby drop until labour officially begins." Your baby can drop anywhere from and month to a week before you give birth. So if you're noticing that your bump has become more bottom heavy, your body and your baby might be trying to tell you that it's getting ready for the big day.
9 Braxton Hicks Contractions
You know, those annoying tight-feeling cramps that keep you up at night? Braxton Hicks contractions can sometimes give mothers false hope that they’re going into labour. During the last week or even the last month of pregnancy, Braxton Hicks contractions will happen more frequently as they are a sign that your body is getting ready for labour. Think of them as your body practicing for the big day. Every woman feels them differently. Some find Braxton Hicks to be incredibly painful and others can hardly tell there happening. Here’s a trick to differentiate Braxton Hicks contractions from the real thing. Real labour contractions happen regularly and will become closer together, stronger and longer as time goes on. Braxton Hicks contractions happen in irregular intervals and do not get stronger or last for a very significant amount of time.
8 Loss Of Mucus Plug
This might sound gross, but losing your mucus plug can be a sign that labour is just around the corner. but According to WebMD, "The mucus plug accumulates at the cervix during pregnancy. When the cervix begins to open wider, the mucus is discharged into the vagina and may be clear, pink, or slightly bloody. Labor may begin soon after the mucus plug is discharged or one to two weeks later."
This can happen in one big mucus clump, or you can lose it in smaller pieces. This looks like boogers and is held in your cervix to protect your baby inside its amniotic sac. You can start losing your mucus plug during the upcoming weeks to labour or you can lose it just moments before you go into labour. It means that your baby is low enough and is pushing the mucus plug out.
7 Constantly Feeling Like You Have To Go Pee
This might be something you have gone through your entire pregnancy. Having to go pee to only find that you didn’t have to pee that much. This constant urge is a result of your baby pushing down on your bladder. This sudden urge can be amplified when your baby drops lower in your pelvis. This means more pressure on your bladder and more trips to the washroom.
6 Nothing Will Happen
So, you’ve researched all the symptoms, everyone tells you what you should be feeling the week before labour and still nothing. You haven’t noticed your bump drop, you haven’t lost your mucus plug or felt any cramps. These symptoms can be exciting but they do not happen for every mother. Even though this can be discouraging, it is completely normal for the onset of labour to come spontaneously without any signs. This just means that your baby is a little showstopper.
5 All The Hormonal Changes
Pregnancy can be an emotional roller-coaster, and hormones can be the blame for most of it. Leading up to labour, your hormones start to change. According to, You And Your Hormones, "the muscles in the womb and abdominal wall have to contract and the cervix needs to soften, or ripen, allowing passage of the baby from the womb to the outside world."
It starts a few weeks or a few days before delivery. Your body stops producing progesterone and estrogen and will start producing prostaglandins to help get the cervix to get ready
4 Dilation And Effacement
Okay, so you might not notice this happening, but your cervix can start to dilate at any moment after your baby has dropped. When your cervix begins to efface, the mucus plug will sometimes slide out. Effacement is the thining of the cervix and dilation is the cervix opening up. Some women can be 2-3 centimeters dilated before going into labour. And in order for dilation to happen, the cervix must be effaced.
3 Loose Bowel Movements
After months of pregnancy-related constipation from your baby sitting on your intestines, it can be a sigh of relief (literally) when things start to go a little more smoothly in the washroom. Loose bowel movements are a result of the baby dropping lower into your pelvis and taking that pressure off of your intestines. If this turns into a case of diarrhea (which is a common sign of upcoming labour) be sure to stay hydrated. However, if your due date is not close, be sure to see your doctor if you are experiencing continuous diarrhea.
2 Sudden Burst Of Energy
It’s weird, right? You're in your 3rd trimester, feeling big, tired and sore and all of sudden you got the urge to clean your entire house. Your body is getting ready for the task of enduring labour for a number of hours. Although this can be uplifting, try to restrain from tiring yourself out and get lots of rest. Save all that good energy for when you actually go into labour. This might sound like something you hear all the time but get lots of rest while you still can.
1 Feeling Absolutely Over It
Something that all women can agree on when they have reached full term of their pregnancy is that they are completely over being pregnant. The onset of labour can be a scary thing for anyone to think about, but it can also be an exciting thing to think that the sooner you go into labour, the sooner you will no longer be pregnant anymore. No more pains, no more swelling, and no more big belly! Although there are some women who enjoy being pregnant, most would rather get the pregnancy part out of the way and finally meet their little bundles of joy.