A series of successively stronger uterine contractions that cause your cervix (the opening at the base of your uterus) to enlarge and efface (thin out) as your baby descends the birth canal characterize labor.
Labor is those periods of brief moments when your baby is born following a series of intense contractions.
However, that is the active stage of labor. The early stage of labor appears somewhat differently.
Your body is preparing heavily during early labor, which can last 12 to 24 hours or even a little longer. This includes cervical effacement and dilation.
However, unlike active labor, when it’s difficult to focus on anything other than getting through your contractions, the symptoms of early labor are less obvious.
Early labor symptoms might be so mild that some women are unaware that it is happening.
It’s normal to start to worry that every little twinge you feel as your due date approaches is the beginning of labor.
Fortunately, the body has a few rather obvious ways of letting you know that you will soon meet your baby.
Some women hardly ever experience any early labor signs, and not every pregnant woman experiences all of these.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the top signs that will let you know that your labor is near.
Top Signs That Labor Is 24 To 48 Hours Away
The following are the top signs that labor is 24 to 48 hours away-
Your Cervix Opens Up
The cervix, a tissue strand about the length of a thumb, joins the uterus (womb) and the vagina. The cervix should be closed throughout the entire pregnancy.
An incompetent cervix, also known as cervical insufficiency, or premature opening of the cervix, is a severe concern.
However, the cervix begins to open and efface (shorten and thin out) and dilate as labor approaches.
Most frequently, when a doctor does an examination, many women realize for the first time that their cervix is starting to enlarge.
At the early labor stage, the cervix can dilate up to one centimeter. The cervix will finally dilate to a full 10 cm (4 inches) when active labor does occur.
Increase In Discharge
An increase in vaginal discharge, also known as leukorrhea, is a common occurrence during pregnancy.
It can occasionally get worse in the days before labor as the vagina gets ready to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal.
Leukorrhea is essential to the vagina’s capacity for self-cleansing. The cervix will also soften, dilate, and get thinner as you get closer to giving birth.
This process starts even before labor does. You can experience an increase in brownish or pinkish vaginal discharge when the cervix starts to open.
Any softening, dilatation or thinning of your cervix may be detected via an internal vaginal exam by a doctor, which is another indication that your body is getting ready for labor and delivery.
Frequent And Intense Contractions
Your body has been getting ready for labor as a result of Braxton Hicks belly tightenings, but they do not considerably widen your cervix.
Braxton Hicks’s belly tightenings are unpredictable, not that painful, and can be made better by moving about or taking a stroll.
Contrary to Braxton Hicks contractions, true labor pains are regular, excruciating, and cannot be stopped or alleviated.
These contractions will become stronger and more frequent as they are designed to widen your cervix. They can have excruciating back pain, an unsettled stomach, and a heavy menstrual cramping sensation.
At any point in the pregnancy, stomach discomfort is not unusual. But if it gets worse toward the end of your third trimester, you might start to worry that labor is about to start.
As the other objects in your abdomen are vying for room with your baby as it continues to grow, you can consequently feel indigestion and heartburn.
A period of diarrhea at the end of pregnancy is often an indication that labor will start within 24 to 48 hours. But such figures can change.
The majority of expecting mothers do not anticipate losing weight. However, it is usual for mothers to lose 1 to 3 pounds one or two days before giving birth.
You are not shedding fat, rather, your body is getting rid of any extra water.
It is often caused by a decreased amniotic fluid at the end of pregnancy and an increased need for urination.
It could happen when your baby begins to descend in preparation for labor. Your bladder experiences greater pressure as the baby lowers itself.
Although for 10% of women breaking their water is what starts labor, most women will experience this after labor has begun.
When water breaks, you will sense dampness that ranges from a trickle down your legs to a gush.
The membranes of the amniotic sac tearing and releasing amniotic fluid is what causes it. This fluid will exit your vagina after passing through your cervix.
If you suspect that you are leaking fluid, it is crucial to let your doctor know right away because doing so could cause your baby harm by allowing infections to enter the uterus.
Never forget that your health and the health of your unborn child are vital, so do not be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding childbirth.
Lower Back Pain
Your lower back may ache during the pre-labor stage, and it may resemble the backaches you have before getting your period, in the days before you were pregnant.
You may anticipate that the pain associated with the start of labor would be felt across your belly which could usually be in such situations.
But, many women also report experiencing back discomfort. It can travel down your legs and can feel achy.
Many women have a sudden, intense impulse to clean up and organize their homes in the very last hours of pregnancy. This is known as nesting.
It can also be unexpected to feel the want to batch-cook meals, fold clothing, touch up paint, rearrange furniture, and file paperwork if you’re not the usual super-houseproud type.
Many expectant mothers describe nesting in the last few hours preceding labor. They have a sense that they need to prepare everything for their baby.
When your due date is approaching and you believe you are having regular contractions, your doctor probably gave you advice on what to do.
Although labor contractions won’t all occur at precisely the same intervals, if they are becoming fairly regular, uncomfortable, and lasting longer than 40 to 60 seconds each, it’s time to visit your doctor.
Contact your doctor if you’re uncertain but believe you might be in labor. If you have any questions, your doctor can explain everything to you and invite you to an appointment.
You need to pay attention to your body to recognize the symptoms that labor will start in the next 24 to 48 hours. If you’re not in touch with your body, it’s simple to overlook some of these indications.