Early Symptoms of Labor

Early Symptoms of Labor

Make sure you are ready for your big arrival. Keep an eye out for the firsts signs that your labor might be starting, like lightening, discharge and broken waters.

While there is no certain set of events, there are some common signs that labor is about to start. Not everyone will experience them, but if you do there’s a good chance that you and your baby are about to meet for the first time.

“The night before I went into labor I got this huge surge of energy and went on a massive cleaning spree, less than 24 hours later I met my Lola for the first time.” Sandra, Mom of Lola, 8 months

Lightening
This is when your baby settles into your pelvis, it can occur a few weeks or hours before labor. It’s called ‘lightening’ because the baby will not be pressing against your diaphragm and you can breath more easily; you may also feel that you need to urinate more often.

Pink Discharge
You may notice a pinkish or blood-streaked discharge. This is from the mucus plug that has sealed the cervix during pregnancy. It can occur up to two weeks before labor starts.

Water Breaking
Despite what you see in the movies, most women don’t experience a huge gush of water. It may feel like a pop, or more like a trickle of water. Either way, if you suspect your water has broken, notify your doctor or midwife right away.

Contractions
Early contractions may feel like menstrual cramps that come every 20 to 30 minutes. They gradually become more frequent. When they occur every three to five minutes, you’ll be in active labor. To time your contractions, write down the exact time each one begins (interval) and how long each lasts (duration).

Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments

lightening

stef 8/28/2015

im 33 weeks and 3 days and I been feeling pain in my lower stomach is that what lightening is

in addition

BROOKLYN 8/13/2015

in addition to my last comment. i had my water break with my first child and the description in the article is very correct.

to the point

BROOKLYN 8/13/2015

I have had 1 kid and this information is short and sweet. I am 38 weeks and experiencing lightening. No contractions yet.

Healing After Childbirth

After the excitement — and the hard work! — of giving birth to your baby, it's time for your body to heal.

Read more

Giving birth: labor support and the role of doulas

Here we look at how you could make labor a more positive experience by having a doula, a professional labor-support person, be with you and your family.

Read more

Teaching Sleeping Habits: Toddler Sleep Training

Many a toddler will do anything to avoid falling asleep ⎯ crying, asking for drinks of water, even getting out of bed. Follow these guidelines to help with toddler sleep training.

Read more