This infographic lists five indications that baby is coming soon.
Abby the Sociologist Doula
5 early signs of labor
The drop: sliding into position.
As baby lowers into the pelvis, you might notice the shape of your belly changing, and your center of gravity shifting.
This is called “dropping” or “lightening.”
Your heartburn or shortness of breath might decrease, and your frequency of urination might increase.
Time Frame: 2-4 weeks before active labor.
Dilated cervix: opening for baby.
You might not know that your cervix is dilating unless you have a cervical check done by your provider.
But know that when this occurs, your body is making a path for baby to be born vaginally.
Time Frame: up to a month before active labor.
Loss of mucus plug: clearing the path.
You might notice a lot of mucus discharge from your vagina, potentially tinged with blood. This is the mucus plug (also called “bloody show”). It works like a cork for your cervix and keeps out infection for most of pregnancy.
Time Frame: up to two weeks before active labor.
Contractions: getting swol and ready.
As your uterine muscles practice contracting as early as in the first trimester, you might not feel anything. But toward the end of pregnancy, you probably will feel these muscular motions more and more. They will become more consistent and stronger.
Time Frame: a few hours or days from consistent contractions to active labor.
Diarrhea: feeling those hormones.
If you’ve got the runs, it could be a sign that your hormones (specifically, prostaglandins) are preparing you for birth. Stay hydrated!
Time Frame: a day or two before active labor.
– Abby the Sociologist Doula