If you have been pregnant for 8 months or more, you’d know that the day of child delivery is close. There are unique signs that labor is 24 to 48 hours away which can include menstrual cramps, loose joints, water gushing, etc. However, these signs vary depending on the individual.
Despite the uncertainty in perfectly predicting your day of delivery, there are general signs that labor is 24 to 48 hours away that can provide a hint. This guide explains all about the signs and how it occurs in your body.
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1. Water gushing
Having your water break, or more precisely the tearing of your amniotic sac is one of the most evident signs that labor has officially begun. This liquid-filled sac shields your baby as it grows and evolves, but it will rupture either spontaneously or forcibly by your doctor in readiness for the delivery.
It is typical for the amniotic sac to burst due to the pressure exerted by the head of your baby on it.
By introducing a short plastic tube into an amniotic sac through the cervix, you can also experience water breaking but this is artificial.
When your water breaks spontaneously, it’s most likely because the baby’s head is exerting more pressure on the sac than usual.
A burst of water may occur for some women, and not for others. If you’re one of these women, you may only notice the slightest flow of water or the sensation of wetness in your pants.
2. Weight loss
It’s possible that you won’t see any weight loss while pregnant till childbirth. However, it is not uncommon for women to shed a few pounds before giving birth.
During this period, y our body is removing bloat and fluid retention. If you’re approaching labor, you may notice a decrease in amniotic fluid, as well as an increase in urination when your “baby lowers.”
Increased bladder pressure due to your baby’s lower position results in more frequent bathroom breaks.
It is possible to experience false labor sensations weeks or months before the actual onset of labor. They manifest themselves as your endometrial muscles get ready for the delivery process. However, despite the fact that they are unpleasant, these contractions are often less intense than those that occur during genuine labor and linger for only a few seconds.
Real contractions, on the other side, are marked by a greater degree of severity, occur more frequently, and can continue for more than one minute. When contractions start to appear every 5 minutes, you can anticipate labor to start within the next 48 hours at the very latest.
4. Dilation of the cervix
In readiness for your baby to exit the birth canal, your cervix will begin to dilate, which is another way of saying open up.
In most instances, the process of dilating the cervix is slow and steady, although it can pick up speed as labor continues.
Your cervix can be measured at any time during your pregnancy, and your doctor will be capable of measuring the degree to which it has dilated as part of the cervical checkup.
Your cervix has to be 10 centimeters dilated for delivery, but if it is only two to three millimeters open shows signs that labor is 24 to 48 hours away.
5. Loose joints
During pregnancy, the ligaments that hold your joints in place loosen due to the release of the hormone relaxin.
You may notice that your joints are popping and cracking, especially in your pelvis or lower spine. Relaxin can sometimes cause diarrhea as an unanticipated adverse effect. When the muscles surrounding your rectum relax, this can happen.
Read: Why More Moms are Choosing Fewer Cervical Checks During Their Birthing Time
6. Loss of mucus plug
Your cervix is covered by a thick sheet of mucus called the mucus plug. While this plug prevents bacteria from getting into your uterus, it loosens and falls out when you’re about to go into labor.
As a woman, you might discover mucus on your underwear or wipes after you’ve used the restroom, but it’s not uncommon.
Don’t worry about the appearance of the mucus; it can range from clear to pink and even contain a trace of blood. This is what physicians call a “bloody show” and is common to everyone.
Your body is signaling that it is ready to give birth by removing the mucus plug. Losing the mucus plug can occur days or even hours before labor even begins, even if it happens weeks in advance.
Some women have cramps similar to those that occur during menstruation. Contrary to popular belief, Braxton Hicks cramps are not the same as normal contractions caused by a tightening of the uterus.
These moderate contractions may be the first signs of a miscarriage. The pain isn’t unbearable, but they’re still visible. During the course of a few hours or perhaps days, they may appear and go.
During the third trimester, many women experience a strong desire to prepare their home for the arrival of a new baby.
It’s possible that you begin cleaning, organizing, and setting up the nursery. However, your body may go into panic mode 24 to 48 hours before birth, resulting in a sudden surge of energy and an intensified desire to clean.
When a woman is pregnant, she may stress over the contents of her hospital bag, the layout of her nursery, or even the cleanliness of her home.
In addition, nausea can be a warning that labor is within the next 24 to 48 hours.
While labor requires a lot of energy, the digestive system requires a lot of that energy. Your digestive system remains empty until after the delivery of your child because of an increase in prostaglandin levels during pregnancy.
If you experience nausea, puking, fever, stomach pains, and/or diarrhea, you may have a stomach virus and should visit a doctor. Pregnancy and childbirth might be more difficult if you are dehydrated, so visit your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.