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Ways to tell if you are going to go into labor soon

Signs that Labor is Approaching

First things first: have you taken a Labor and Delivery class yet? Hillary, a labor and delivery nurse and blogger, says that most of the patients she comes in contact with have not taken one because they simply cannot fit it into their schedule. So she created an online one for couples to watch from home. You can tell that she genuinely cares about informing future parents through her videos. Plus, you can go back and replay them over and over! Here’s the link to her website. 

Ok, onto the signs that baby is coming soon!

One of the most exciting parts about labor is that it can happen anytime. You never know when your little one is going to decide to make an appearance! Are you going to go into labor at work, in a store, or the middle of the night? You won’t know until it happens, but there are some warning signs that it could be happening soon.

Although many of these signs are a good indication labor may be approaching, none of them are a guarantee that your baby is coming right then. Here a few signs to look out for to start getting those bags packed and everything prepared for your baby arrive into the world.

#1- You’ve made cervical change.

When you’re starting to make cervical change, there is a good chance labor is brewing and you should start getting prepare. Although you can be 4cm for weeks before your baby decides to come, if you’re making change it’s a good indication that your body is getting ready to go into labor.

#2- Your baby “drops” lower into your pelvis.

When you notice your baby has dropped more into your pelvis, it could be your baby getting into position to make his or her way down and out. This is called engagement. The lower your baby’s head is, the more pressure it puts on the cervix. Hopefully that means labor will be starting soon!

#3- You are starting to experience diarrhea or nausea.

Diarrhea and nausea could signify that labor could be starting. Some physicians say it’s your body clearing out and making more room for your baby. However, it could just mean you ate something that your body doesn’t agree with.

#4- You are having more discharge or brown, pink tinged discharge.

Sometimes your body may produce more discharge when labor is coming near. Often times the discharge will be light pink in color or a dark brown like old blood. Your cervix is vascular, which means it has blood vessels on it that can bleed when irritated. If your cervix is started to dilate, you could have some bleeding which is what causes the pink or brown tinged discharge.

#5- Contractions are starting that are irregular and unpredictable.

Braxton Hicks contractions are the warm up contractions that your body produces while getting ready for the real deal. These contractions are unpredictable and not usually as painful as labor contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions can go on for weeks before you actually go into labor, but if they’ve become more frequent and stronger, it could mean labor could be starting soon. {Anna wrote a wonderful post on how to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and REAL contractions. Read it here}

#6- You have a gut feeling labor is starting soon.

Some moms said they had a gut feeling and knew labor would be starting soon. Trust your instincts and start preparing if you think it will soon be time to meet your baby.

#7- Your energy levels change.

This may either mean you have a burst of energy and start nesting, or you become sleepy and don’t have any energy at all. Either could be your body’s way of preparing for labor.

Although there is no fool proof way of knowing when labor is going to start, it’s always good to look for the possible signs to be prepared. When in doubt, call your physician or midwife! And if you’re gut really is telling you baby is near, be sure to have your hospital bag packed (here’s what I wish I would have taken with me!) and you are stocked up on all the non-baby essentials! 

Also, if you plan to breastfeed once baby arrives, I would highly recommend taking the online Milkology Breastfeeding Course.  It was created by a lactation consultant and It seriously covers every aspect of breastfeeding, from how to get a good latch, how to tell if baby is actually getting any milk, how to pump and store milk for baby and SO much more. I took it after my second baby was born and I WISH I would have taken it before I had my first. It would have made for much smoother sailing! You can read more about what the course contains here. 

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