What are early signs of labor to watch for?

My water broke. That was the first sign for me. I was at my parents’ house that night. I was 37 weeks, and had a big baby. No cramping until 9 a.m. the next morning, just general «heaviness» and discomfort...which is hard to distinguish. I went to the hospital at 9 and he was born at 10.35a.m.

I know a lot of moms don't have any warning signs at all, I didn't with my son. But I also want to encourage moms to go with their gut if they feel something is wrong. To be aware that REAL contractions might not hurt any more than period at first.

If you are a first-time mother, these early signs of labor may occur weeks before delivery, while subsequent pregnancies might result in these occurring closer to delivery.

Some signs to watch for:

1.     A labor draws near; your baby's head will begin to descend lower into your pelvis. The dropping of your baby can happen anywhere from two to four weeks before you baby is actually born. When you experience this early symptom of labor, you can be assured that the process of having a baby is beginning. Your pregnancy will soon be coming to an end, and the early signs of labor you've been experiencing are true.

2.     After your baby drops, in which your baby's head is settled into your pelvis, you may begin to experience some minor discomfort. This pain is considered pelvic pressure, and you may begin to pass water and bowel movements more frequently. It's one of the obvious early signs of labor

3.     Don't be surprised if you notice an increase in vaginal secretions. As the softening of your cervix occurs, white, and sometimes pink discharge may be seen. This is one of the more uncomfortable early signs of labor

4.     An unpleasant early sign and symptom of labor is diarrhea. A release of the body chemical prostaglandins might occur in the process of early labor. This trigger can result in episodes of loose bowel movements

5.     Also known as your «water breaking», the rupture of membranes occurs when the amniotic sac breaks. This is one of the most common early signs of labor. If you water does indeed break, you can almost assume you will go into labor within 24 hours of that happening

Moms Expertise
    8Theresa Gould
    My water broke with my first. My second I had stop and go labor that I now believe was because of dehydration, I was induced because after a "false" alarm I didn't want to leave the hospital without a baby in my arms! My third came rather fast and furious with contractions that slowly increased in intensity. My fourth came more slowly but with mild contractions, went to a normal prenatal appointment and discovered I was 5 cm! Needless to say the doctor sent me straight over to the hospital! My fifth came a week and a half late, I didn't want to be induced so as a last resort my doctor striped my membranes and said if he/she didn't come by morning she'd induce, he came that evening fast and furiously after mild contractions grew in intensity throughout the day. My sixth was much the same way. My seventh same thing. My eighth and last baby took almost as long as my first but I think it was because the midwife's assistant was there and she was checking me more often than I liked and hindered the process. I'd have to look in my journals but with a couple of them my water did break, but not all of them.
    Oh wow ur one tough mommy...what did u feel when ur water broke??
    About Elena Voznyuk
    Current: Anoka, Minnesota
    Birth: November 22
    On Moms.com since: Jun 21, 2013
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