When Will Labor Begin? - Be Empowered Birth Series

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When Will Labor Begin?

Be Empowered Birth Series

One of the most exciting times as a mother is when labor begins. That first contraction, the water breaking, the car ride to the hospital/birthing center, are very special times that we never forget. But- how do you know if it’s REALLY happening?

Truthfully, labor begins when it wants to and when your baby is ready. If you’ve tried different natural or at home induction methods and baby isn’t budging, it’s just not time. Some things to look out for as you’re nearing your due date are:

  1. Loss of mucus plug: The mucus plug is a collection of mucus that formed in your cervix opening during pregnancy to protect the womb and baby. The mucus plug is discharged as your cervix begins to stretch and the opening gets wider. You can lose your mucus plug days or weeks before going into labor, so it’s not a reason to rush to your birthing hospital or call your midwife, but it is usually the first sign that you are indeed going to have that baby any day now!

  2. Baby Dropping: As your due date approaches, you will notice your belly might start to look different, you might develop a waddle kind of walk, or feel some hip stretching. This is your baby dropping into your pelvis preparing to be born. This is a sign he will be here soon and he knows what he’s doing! This can happen anywhere between two to four weeks before your due date.

  3. Breaking of the waters: in about 10-15% of mothers, the amniotic sac will break before contractions begin and amniotic fluid is released through the vagina. See our blog post on the rupture of membranes, here.

If you are feeling any anxiety about when labor will begin, talk to your care provider, doula, or best friend. Anyone who has had a baby knows that they do come out eventually even when it doesn’t feel like they ever will, and knowing the signs can help you be prepared. A prepared birth is an empowered birth!

During our Be Empowered Childbirth Education you are able to learn about all the what to expect for the onset of labor, each stage of labor, and the best comfort measures and positions!