Questions that come up often during the third trimester of pregnancy have to do with labor. Knowing the early signs of labor can help you understand when the baby’s delivery is near.
While each pregnancy is different, there are things you’ll notice when your body is near the due date. Here are some things to look out for:
Stronger and Frequent Contractions
At this point, you’ll start to notice that contractions happen more often. Your womb will tighten before relaxing, and it can be painful for some people. This is a sign that your body is getting ready for delivery.
Contractions often happen at regular intervals, though frequency will be more noticeable as you near the due date. Women often experience contractions that last for 30 seconds to around a minute. When they become stronger, you find it hard to move around as you focus on your womb until the muscles relax.
Some women may even feel unusual pressure in the pelvis or vaginal area. It happens as the baby begins to move down. You may also feel backache during this time.
Fatigue or Nesting
The third trimester can feel like the first in some ways, because fatigue will come back. You’ll find yourself sleeping a lot, though you might face additional discomfort as you accommodate for your baby.
On the other end of the spectrum, though, you may experience the nesting instinct. You’ll experience a surge of energy, using it to clean. Organizing and fixing everything is a biological instinct as the mother wants to welcome the baby in a clean space.
As your muscles tense during this final phase of pregnancy, you may feel discomfort leading to diarrhea. It’s because the muscles in the rectum area are also moving. It’s normal, and you should not be alarmed when it happens. As long as you keep hydrated, you won’t have any issues.
A pregnancy hormone called relaxin will flow through your body in the moments leading up to labor, causing your joints to feel loose. You may have encountered it in the past if you’ve had unusual moments where you feel clumsier than usual. This time, it’s a sign that your body is relaxing the pelvic area to make way for the birth.
Mucus Plug Loss
The mucus plug of the cervix comes away if you’re near delivery. You’ll notice a jelly-like pink substance discharge from your vagina. The color is that way because it has a little bit of blood. When you see this, your delivery may happen within a few days. Some women even have delivered a few hours later.
The loss of the mucus plug indicates that the cervix is starting to open. If you don’t experience this, don’t worry, as not all women will go through this.
When your baby is ready for birth, a fluid sac breaks, draining out of the vagina. This is known as your water breaking, and it happens naturally. It’s a clear and pale fluid that you won’t be able to control as it moves out of your body. Breaking can happen before labor or during it, and it may happen as a slow trickle or a sudden gush.
All these early signs of labor are common, and you shouldn’t have to worry when they happen. If you are unsure whether you’re going into labor or not, give your doctor a call and explain your situation. Don’t worry about calling beyond office hours, as it’s their job to guide you through a healthy pregnancy and delivery.