You’ve been preparing for the arrival of your baby for practically 9 months, maybe more. When labor finally begins, will you even know it’s happening? Maybe not! There are actually some lesser known rather unusual signs of labor that are quite common.
Contractions, spotting (also known as bloody show), your water breaking and dilation are all obvious signs of labor. When any of these occur, you’re probably b-lining for the hospital or at the very least on the phone with your OB. But not all signs of labor are so transparent.
You can Breathe Again: As your baby “drops” and begins her decent through the birth canal, you may feel a load has been taken off your respiratory system. Your baby was causing all of your organs to squish together, which often makes it hard to breathe. When your baby is close to her debut, you may finally be able to take a full breath of fresh air. Good thing because you’ll probably need it for pushing!
Leading Lady Tip: The reorg of your insides may leave you feeling uncomfortable. As soon as your regular bras start to feel uncomfortably tight, purchase maternity bras that double as nursing bras. These flexible styles will be gentler on your expanding rib cage and stretch as your breasts enlarge. Also invest in a few awesome pairs of maternity leggings and maternity jeggings. Ours have a built-in belly band that supports 360 degrees to take some of the belly burden off your back and hips.
You are Emotional and Moody: At the very end of your pregnancy your hormones are shifting to prepare your body for childbirth and then breastfeeding. You may be an emotional wreck or very temperamental as your baby’s birth day draws near. Try to take a breath (now that you actually can!) and know that everything will be OK. Hopefully your loved ones will give you a pass for any misguided behavior during this extremely excitable time.
You have Diarrhea: Your body is relaxing in preparation for pushing your baby through the birth canal and into the world. Your joints, muscles and bowels will all feel loser, which may lead to diarrhea. Not so pleasant but all for a good cause.
You Can’t Sleep and when you do, you Dream of Labor: You’re probably hoping to store up some zzz’s before you head into one of the biggest events in your life but that’s usually not the case. Between being in the uncomfortable state of extreme pregnancy, the excitement of the impending arrival of your new family member, and worries you may have about becoming a mom (for the first time or again), sleep may be hard to come by. And when you do drift off to sleep you may actually dream about labor in very intense and realistic ways.
Leading Lady Tip: While we can't take away your understandable anxiety, we can offer sleep bras that will help put you in the mood for rest. Crossover styles like The Felicity, The Harmony, and The Serenity are light and convenient for your early days of breastfeeding.
You Feel Sick: As labor gets nearer, some mothers report flu-like symptoms without the fever and others get an upset stomach. Whatever the “off” feeling is, it could mean labor is around the corner.
You Lose Weight: During pregnancy you retained water and fat to help your developing baby and protect your body. As hormones change towards the end of your third trimester, you may let go of that water weight and a little stored fat. Plus, you may not have much of an appetite due to a queasy stomach or your rather large baby squishing up your stomach to the point it cannot hold much food.
You have Back Pain: Of course back pain is a side-effect of pregnancy as your bump grows larger but it can also be an unusual sign of labor especially if it radiates down your thighs. Back pain that comes in waves may be contractions in disguise so don’t ignore them.
Leading Lady Tip: When your back is sore during pregnancy, get some relief from our maternity support band that encapsulates your bump for gentle support or our dual-layer adjustable maternity belt that eases back pain when you need it most.
You are a Bubble of Energy and have a Need to Nest: Some mothers experience extreme energy for the few days before going into labor and they put it to good use by cleaning and organizing to prepare for baby. If you find your nesting just escalated 12 notches, your baby may be on the way.
Leading Lady Tip: Use your energy boost to pack your hospital bag. Nursing bras and nursing tank tops are essential during our hospital stay since you'll want to start breastfeeding right away when your baby arrives. We recommend at least two nursing tank tops (great for overnight) and two comfortable nursing bras, such as The Natalie padded cotton nursing bra, The Uma cotton nursing bra 2-pack, or The Janet seamless wireless nursing bra.
As your due date draws closer, remember these unusual signs of labor that may be a sneaky indication your little one is making her grand entrance very soon.
Sources: Babygaga and What to Expect