False alarm or the real deal? Four signs you’re going into labor


During pregnancy, many women worry about where and when they’ll go into labor. Will it be in the car on the way home from work two weeks before your due date? In the shower one morning a week after? In a humiliatingly public place? Regardless, it’s a good idea to brush up on the telltale signs you’re going into labor, as many women experience false alarms during the last few weeks of the third trimester.

4 signs you’re going into labor:

1. Your water breaks

This rupturing of membranes typically occurs somewhere between several hours before labor starts and anytime throughout it. Luckily, most women experience this after already timing regular contractions, so you’re not likely to notice a gushing or trickling of fluid randomly without other symptoms.

2. You have regular contractions

This trips many moms up, as “practice contractions,” a.k.a. Braxton Hicks, can occur in the last few weeks of pregnancy. However, you can tell the difference between false and real contractions based on how frequent they are and how they feel. Regular contractions won’t subside if you move or eat and they typically grow more intense over time.

3. You experience “bloody show”

This is the passing of the mucus plug that has kept your cervix closed to protect your baby from infection. It’s usually released when your cervix begins to dilate, which can happen several days (even weeks!) before labor or when labor officially begins. Either way, you’ll know delivery won’t be that far away!

4. You feel baby dropping lower in your abdomen

This process is called “lightening” and it usually occurs from a few weeks to a few hours before labor starts. You may feel pelvic or lower back pain as a result.

Bottom line? If you experience any of these signs you’re going into labor, give your OB/GYN¬†office a call and let your doctor know what’s going on. You don’t want to make an unnecessary trip to the hospital–but you also want to be there if you’re baby’s about to make his or her long-awaited entrance into the world.

Week 39: Woah baby!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.