Every woman has a different birth story. And when that woman has more than one child, each story is different for each birth.
It’s impossible to pinpoint when you go into labor fully.
However, some signs will tell you it’s about to go down. If you see these things, ensure your bag is ready for the hospital.
Don’t immediately jump into the car and head to the hospital when you see these signs. It’s the contractions that will clue you in. When you start getting those, and they become more frequent and intense, that determines labor.
So, what will tell you that you may get those contractions in a few days?
You’ll probably get that sensation you remember getting during your periods first. It’s different from Braxton Hicks, which doesn’t come with pain. These cramps may even start with those mild contractions. It’s not horrible pain, but you will notice it coming and going over a few hours or even several days.
- Pressure in Your Pelvis
At this point, lightening should have taken place. That’s when the baby is low down in there, getting ready and into position for birth. You’ll feel pressure in the pelvic area or in your vagina itself. Not all women get this feeling until they’re fully in labor. And if you get it, it could be sharp, burning, or shooting nerve pain. It’s VERY uncomfortable, but you can take comfort in the fact that soon, this will all be over with, and you’ll be holding your baby.
- Your Mucus Plug Comes Out
Pay attention to your panties, mamas. Your vaginal discharge may also offer a clue. The mucus plug creates a seal at the opening of your cervix to keep the baby safe from unhealthy bacteria on the outside. The cervix starts to open as your body preps itself for labor. You may see this plug known as bloody show come out in a gross blob, or it could come out gradually.
Note any changes you see that are different from the norm, and you could be on to something.
If the plug doesn’t come out all at once, you will likely notice a watery discharge, thicker or stickier than usual. It can also be slightly pink in the days before labor begins.
There are also less scientific signs that indicate you’ll be in labor in a few days. You’ll feel fatigued, but hey, don’t we all during the last month of pregnancy? EXACTLY.
Many mamas also report diarrhea in the days before labor and sudden bursts of energy. But these are more speculative.
In the end, if you think you might have gone into labor, keep calm and time your contractions. There is no sense in going to the hospital when you are a long way off from giving birth.
When your contractions start coming every 5 minutes and are so strong it is impossible to do anything else, you should get to the hospital and call your doctor. And in the event it’s a false alarm, don’t be embarrassed. They see this sort of thing all the time!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.