In those late weeks of pregnancy with all the aches and pains that go along with carrying a full term baby, the anticipation of finally getting to meet this little person you have been cradling inside for 9 months now, and the anxiety that comes along with not knowing what to expect from your labor and delivery can make the wait for your child’s birth day seem endless. Every little ache, every little twitch, every little pain that wasn’t there before makes you wonder if it is finally time, if your little one is about to make their appearance. We all spend those final weeks trying to patiently wait for those first early signs of labor.
The home stretch can seem endless, the wait unbearable, but don’t worry your baby will make their appearance eventually. You can’t rush nature, that baby will come when they are ready. As the final weeks and days of your pregnancy draw to a close there are a few early signs of labor that you can look for that can indicate your body is in the final stages of preparing for labor. Our bodies go through a lot during pregnancy and those finally weeks and days are no exception. Here are 5 signs that your body is getting ready for labor.
- The Braxton Hicks contractions that you have likely been experiencing for several months now will change. In the final days of your pregnancy you will likely notice an increase in both the frequency and the intensity of these contractions. Braxton Hicks are your body’s way of practicing for the real thing.
- You will likely lose your mucous plug. This can happy several weeks before your labor begins or only a day or so. Your body will start to expel the mucous plug when your cervix begins to change. Some women walk around for weeks at 1-2cms dilated.
- The baby “drops”. This is the term used when the baby moves further into the birth canal in preparation for the impending delivery. Sometimes this “drop” is obvious and you can see that you are carrying the baby lower than previously in your pregnancy. Sometimes the only thing you notice is increased pain and pressure in your pelvis.
- An increase in the pain and pressure in your pelvis and hips. During the final weeks and days of your pregnancy your pelvic region will begin to prepare for the delivery and this often makes you even more uncomfortable than before. Your hips and pelvis will begin to move and separate which results in increased pain and pressure.
- You may notice some digestive upset. Many women in the final days before labor experience vomiting, diarrhea and upset stomach. There are several cause for this digestive upset including changing hormones and added pressure on your stomach and intestines from the growing baby.