8 Signs Labor Is Approaching (VIDEO)

pregnantToday, I am exactly two weeks away from my due date. Two weeks! Where did the time go? This pregnancy flew by, and now, here I am, anxiously awaiting "the moment." (You know, the moment I go into labor.) 

I'm thrilled. I'm excited. I'm ... nervous as hell my baby's going to come early because I still have a few things I need to get done! I need to clean. I need to cook and freeze meals. I need to sterilize bottles. Hell, I still have a table I want to paint! The suspense is killing me. When are you going to get here, baby girl? It'd be great if you could wait until after next weekend, thanks.

I know, I know. It doesn't work that way. Babies come when they're ready. I just wish I had a general idea, though. A few telltale signs labor is imminent. Anything! I have no plans to be induced, and I hate surprises.

Well, would you look-y here. There actually are telltale signs labor is imminent. Not as good as a handwritten note from my baby, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

Your baby drops. Also known as "lightening." When your baby moves a little lower down (think towards your pelvis), it's a sign he or she is almost ready to see the world. Personally, I've had a hard time being able to tell whether or not I've experienced lightening, but many say that there's a feeling of slight relief -- you can breathe easily again! Unfortunately, a baby dropping means you're going to have to pee even more (as if that was possible).

You lose your mucus plug. Passing your mucus plug is a sign that your cervix is dilating and -- hey, guess what! -- your body is preparing for birth. When it will happen still remains sort of a mystery. It could be hours, days, or even weeks away, but you are definitely close. (Also, losing your mucus plug may not happen in one fell swoop. It can, and commonly does, shed gradually.)

Bloody show. Ah, another delightful term. Bloody show, which, let's be honest, sounds like a horror movie, is just another sign that your cervix is opening. When you see a thick, stringy, reddish-brown discharge from your vagina, that's probably bloody show.

Cramping. Good old-fashioned, period-style. 'Member that? Cramps that are reminiscent of menstruation -- including back cramps -- are another sign you're nearing your due date.

Your nesting instinct kicks into high gear. I mean, I've gotta be honest, I feel like I've been nesting throughout my entire pregnancy -- perhaps my entire life -- but if you're not like me, and all of a sudden have a strong desire to clean and organize, well, you might be getting close, little lady.

Diarrhea. Can pregnancy get any sexier? If you feel like things are "different" in the bathroom as of late, could be a sign your baby's coming.

Weight loss. Nothing drastic, but losing a pound or three due to hormone levels could be a sign that labor is getting close.

Consistent contractions. The most telltale sign labor is near -- like, really near -- is consistent contractions. We're not talking Braxton Hicks here, we're talking intense contractions that have a pattern. You'll know when this happens. When your contractions are consistently around five minutes apart, time to phone up your doctor, my friend. Looks like you're in labor.

Check out a video on inducing labor naturally:

What signs did you have that labor was approaching?

Image via dizznbonn/Flickr

labor & delivery


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

miche... micheledo

Just beware of prodromal labor - nice consistent contractions for hours or days that really don't do anything visible.  I had it for about 3 weeks or so with several of my children.  They are JUST like being in labor - so much so that I didn't know I was in labor until I was ready to push out my son.  Fun! :D

They started out pretty easy.  They came as close as every three minutes for hours on end, but they just irritated me.  By the time I was days away from my due date, they had increased to the pain level of normal birthing contractions.

On the other hand, if you experience those, you learn to deal with them and labor is relatively easy! :D

My bloody show comes when I am actually in labor - just confirmation that baby REALLY is coming today!

BriLee BriLee

I just gave birth to my third last week. My ONLY warning was waking to use the restroom. Got there and my water broke on the toilet. No contractions, no plug, no dropping, nothing! Actually even after my water broke and contractions started they weren't painful for about 8 hours.

Pretty much every mom and labor is different. All those that you mentioned are possible signs, not imminent. A mom can walk around for weeks without a plug or getting cramps.

Good luck on your birth!

Bugsm... Bugsmom0307

My 2nd daughter is scheduled to be here 3 weeks from today :) I have to have a C-Section since I had one the first time. Of course she could show up before then and I have a feeling she might because I am experiencing EVERY single one of these symptoms.

nonmember avatar Brittney

I have two girls and my labor experience was about the same both times. No braxton hicks contractions, no show, no mucus plug, no cramps, no dropping, and my water never broke naturaly haha I showed up to my appointment and they were like "your gonna deliver today" ! Crazy times...

Stacey. Stacey.

I knew I was baout to have my daughter when my house was spotless and I caught myself vacuuming the concrete on my front porch (where people smoke, I wanted to get the ashes up). Then, my midwife stretched my cervix since I was 1 week overdue, and I had those contractions miicheledo spoke of for 3 days!!! I thought I was in labor, but no, they were just severe contractions. I couldnt eat or sleep thru 'em.

Amand... AmandaSnyder

I am doing a vbac after my first was an your getting a csection or force you csection..... No choice I want to birth right just once at least.

Momma... Momma2blessed

I have 2 girls and each labor is different. Unfortunately loosing your mucus plug or baby dropping or even dilating a cm or 2 doesn't really indicate birth is coming soon... Many signs appear weeks before the big push begins!

chigi... chigirl1228

I hate to sound cliche but you'll just know. The pain will be a good indicator. So if you're still feeling up to painting that table do it soon! I had nesting issues with both my kids. Baking with the first and crazy cleaning with the second. Have fun and relax! Good luck!

Alway... AlwaysExpecting

I have three children and am due with my fourth in may.  I had a bloody show with my first around midday and labor started that night. I also had diahrea for a week beforehand.

With my second I woke up having contractions, but no other signs aside from diahrea the week before.

With my third I had diahrea the week before hand again and nothing else until contractions started. 

My water has never broken and I have never noticed loosing the plug or "lightening." 

Labor is different for everyone!

1-10 of 19 comments 12 Last