Pre-labour signs – Signs that Labour is about to Begin

Signs that labor is about to begin are called pre-labor. There are many signs that occur before labor like backache and frequent and soft bowel movements. There are also preliminary signs like bloody show and water breaking, pre-labor contractions.

Possible Signs of Pre-Labor

Some of the signs that labor is about to begin are:

  • Frequent and soft bowel movements
  • Premenstrual symptoms
  • Abdominal cramping that can be from mild to moderate
  • Backache that is dull and makes you irritable and restless
  • Flu like symptoms

When you experience these symptoms then it is evident that labor is about to begin. These signs may be seen from some days to weeks before the beginning of labor. These signs are a reminder for you to keep things ready for the birth of the child. The most important thing is to be aware of other signs that occur before labor. However, do not get excited or start making plans for the baby. You can continue your normal routine, eat and drink well, get lots of rest and nurture yourself in these days that are more precious for you and the baby.

Preliminary Signs:-

Some of the preliminary signs and symptoms are:

Bloody show:

The cervix contains mucous that is secreted in the late pregnancy. It can be a thick plug of pink mucus that comes out when you urinate. It can also be thin and mucous discharge can also be seen on the toilet paper. If you find more blood then you need to call the health care provider or the midwife. However, sometimes after a vaginal examination or intercourse, there can be brownish or bloody discharge. So, do not mistake this for blood.

Water breaking:

If you find a gush or trickle or just a mucous fluid then observe the color and odor of the fluid. Call your doctor, as there is a good chance of going into labor within the next 24 hours.


There is a difference between the non- progressing false labor and the pre-labor signs of progressive contractions. The pre-labor contractions are regular and the length and frequency of the pain remains the same. There is mild to moderate discomfort in the front of the abdomen or in the lower back, and muscles tighten. These contractions last for a very short period and reoccur at regular intervals, every few minutes.

False Labor:

Some women never have Braxton – Hicks contractions. These contractions occur just some weeks before the labor. Some may have contractions every six to seven minutes for 2 – 3 hours, which stop again. False labor does not mean that they do not hurt you. These contractions are not true labor but are a pre-labor sign. Though these contractions may not dilate the cervix, they help moving the cervix to the anterior position and helps in the effacement and ripening of the cervix.These contractions will stop when you change your position or activity, walk, drink, eat, or empty your bladder.

Positive Signs of Labor

Some of the positive signs of labor are:

  • Cervical Dilatation on vaginal examination
  • Gush of amniotic fluid from the vagina
  • The contractions progress and get stronger, longer and pain is felt in the abdomen or lower back.

As soon as you experience labor symptoms, consult your midwife or physician. These are your body’s signs that your baby is finally here!

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