Symptoms of oncoming labor

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Symptoms of labor

How do you know when to go to the hospital to have the baby? What are the symptoms of labor? The nine months are at an end and the impatience to see the baby is starting to give some signs. Women who are in their first pregnancy may be the least likely to recognize the onset of labor, although each pregnancy is unique and even women who have already given birth in their life may not experience the same symptoms as their first pregnancy. It is important to recognize the right time to go to the hospital, to avoid being sent home because it is too early.





Here is a list of common symptoms that you can try in the days before the birth and that signal the arrival of the big day or the time to go to the hospital.

In this article

  • Symptoms of near labor
  • How to tell if childbirth is near
  • Pre-labor symptoms
  • Symptoms of Labor in a Second Pregnancy
  • Onset of labor without symptoms

Symptoms of near labor

In last days of pregnancy some may occur symptoms physical and psychological that indicate that the fateful moment is about to arrive.



  • For example, we can encounter frequent episodes of Diarrhea because the baby is channeling, kicking and moving.
  • Or we may have the need for urinary very often due to the pressure the child exerts on the bladder.
  • Also we can live the nest syndrome: corresponds to the mood common to many women who, when the birth is very close, instinctively feel the need to tidy up the baby's house and equipment, as if they were preparing the nest for the baby's arrival.

How to tell if childbirth is near

Childbirth is approaching and to understand it we must note these things:



  • the belly has dropped: the baby has channeled and this causes the belly to tend a lot downwards;
  • you breathe better: the baby and the uterus have descended and therefore no longer exert a strong pressure on the chest.

Pre-labor symptoms

Here are some symptoms that can occur in the days and hours before labor:

  • Leaking amniotic fluid: it is uncontrolled vaginal discharge that can vary in quantity. Amniotic fluid is clear and odorless.
  • Loss of the cap: it does not signal the imminent birth but it is a clue that the term is near. The mucal plug is a whitish and very dense vaginal discharge, almost gelatinous, which has played the role of "plug" of the uterus throughout the pregnancy. Losing it indicates a movement of the uterus in preparation for expelling the baby, which could take up to a week.
  • Vaginal discharge: in the last few days it may happen to have clear and liquid vaginal discharge. If they become very liquid it is best to contact your doctor for a checkup.
  • Backache: Many women have back pain in the days before labor, it can be a nuisance due to the lowering of the baby. However, back pain is a frequent discomfort in pregnancy, which can be caused by many factors. It can indicate the end of pregnancy if it is associated with other symptoms such as pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Lower abdominal pain: during the terminal part of the pregnancy the baby moves downward in preparation to go out. In these movements it comes to press in the lower part of the abdomen causing pain to the mother.
  • Difficulty breathing: the pressure of the fetus against the lower abdomen or back can also involve breathing. It is important to consult your doctor to trace this symptom back to pregnancy excluding other complications.
  • ExhaustionAfter having subjected the body to a lot of pressure for the whole nine months, the pregnancy ends with the last internal "upheaval" that leaves a fatigue effect on the expectant mother.

When labor is in its early stages, we can experience these symptoms:

  • Contractions: The contractions for which you have to go to the hospital are intense and regular. During pregnancy, it can happen to have pains similar to contractions that lead to labor but they do not have a constant rhythm and are bearable. It is necessary to go to the hospital when the distance between one contraction and another is 5 minutes.
  • Breaking of waters: the amniotic sac ruptures and this is the clearest sign of the onset of labor.

Many of these symptoms can be traced back to other pathologies, so it is always better to consult your doctor in case of doubts or severe discomfort.

Read also: Stages of labor

Symptoms of Labor in a Second Pregnancy

It is said that in the second pregnancy il labor lasts less and this can certainly be true in most cases because the cervix, vaginal and pelvic floor muscles are more elastic and facilitate the baby's exit. Furthermore, you are more prepared, you know what you are going to encounter, how to push and when and how to breathe correctly. What is certain, however, is that every pregnancy and every birth are different from each other and there is no absolute truth. The woman, in her second pregnancy, will certainly be more aware and prepared and she will already have many answers to her questions. You will, therefore, be better able to recognize the symptoms, such as watery discharge, loss of mucous plug or actual contractions.

Onset of labor without symptoms

In most cases, labor is preceded by a series of rather clear symptoms, but in other cases it begins suddenly manifesting itself in the most striking way: the contractions that become more and more frequent and intense and / or the rupture of the amniotic sac (rupture of the waters). In the presence of these symptoms so clear it is good to go to the hospital right away.

Questions and answers

What are the symptoms that childbirth is near?

Typically, the tummy drops considerably under the pressure of the channeling baby, you need to urinate frequently and breathe better.

How many days before the symptoms of childbirth appear?

The first symptoms of an oncoming taravglio can also occur a few days before the actual contractions begin. To enter the phase of active labor, therefore with regular contractions, an entire day and a whole night can go by.

How to tell if the belly has dropped?

When the baby is able to channel himself into the birth canal with his head, the tummy drops. We can easily understand that this is happening because we breathe and digest better due to the fact that the pressure of the uterus on the organs is released. At the same time, the child presses on the bladder and there is an urge to urinate more often.

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