A woman will experience many signs before going into labor: nausea, cramping, lower back pain and a thick, bloody discharge. While some of these may be concerning, in many cases it’s just the body’s way of telling you that actual labor has not quite started yet but is close!
During pregnancy, the uterus grows and stretches. If you think about it, the uterus needs the most room towards the end of the pregnancy to support the full-term baby growing inside. In this event, mom-to-be may experience cramping and lower back pain as the uterus contracts to adjust in the body. She may also experience nausea because the full-term baby-filled uterus is now pushing on the stomach and GI tract (also sometimes causing diarrhea). The mucus plug (a mucus-like “plug” on the cervix that keeps bacteria from entering the uterus) will fall off and be released through a thick discharge either all at once or little by little. When this happens, some of the surrounding blood vessels burst causing that discharge to appear a bit bloody.
Going into labor, these pains and discomforts will become more intense. Contractions will become more consistent and more painful as labor progresses and once the amniotic sac ruptures, it’s baby time!
Women often experience anxiety about going into labor sooner than anticipated. Knowing the difference between false signs of labor and actual labor can be hard to diagnose at home by yourself and if you are really concerned about what you are experiencing, definitely call your doctor.
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