Signs of Labor Approaching: Key Indicators | SuperBottoms
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• Introduction
• What Is Labor?
• Signs Of Labor Approaching:
• Silent Labor Signs Or Early Signs Of Labor:
• How Can I Tell True Signs of Labor and False Alarms Apart?
• What Is Preterm Labor?
• Key Takeaways:
• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As you approach the 40th week of pregnancy, it's natural to start wondering about the signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away. It's essential to be aware of the early signs of labor, including silent Labor signs, so that you can be prepared for the arrival of your little one. When the third trimester hits, the nervousness and anticipation of childbirth also kick in. That's why packing your hospital bag and getting ready to go is crucial. Before we discuss the signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away, let's understand labor itself.

What Is Labor?

Labor is the complete process of the child. Labor starts with the contraction of the uterus, which is the main reason moms begin feeling the pain. So, pain is usually the most prominent sign of labor. Then comes the cervical dilation stage, which ends with the baby's delivery. By this time, you should be ready with your hospital bag and ready to rush to the hospital for childbirth.

Signs of Labor Approaching:

As you near the 40-week mark of your pregnancy, it's natural to anticipate the signs of labor, especially if you're 40 weeks pregnant with no signs of labour yet. Here are critical indicators to watch for as labor approaches:

  • Solid and frequent contractions: Early signs of labor include regular contractions that grow stronger and closer together. To assess whether these contractions signify labor:
  • Are the contractions evenly spaced?
  • How long do they last?
  • Are they intense?

Active labor is likely imminent if contractions are consistently muscular, lasting between 30 to 70 seconds and occurring 5 to 10 minutes apart.

  • Bloody show: The presence of brownish or reddish mucus discharge indicates the expulsion of the mucus plug, signaling the onset of labour.
  • Belly and lower back pain: While back pain is joint during pregnancy and often alleviated by rest or changing positions, persistent abdominal and lower back discomfort may signify active labor.
  • Water breaking: This is a definitive sign that labor has begun—the rupture of the amniotic sac results in a noticeable rush of amniotic fluid from the vagina.

Watch for these signs, and if you experience any, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

Important Note: During labor, it's important to have some essential items prepared for the baby's arrival. These items can help ensure the baby's comfort, safety, and well-being during and immediately after birth:

  • A soft, cozy Dry Feel Swaddle Wrap to swaddle the baby in after birth to help keep them warm and secure.
  • Have SuperBottoms UNO Cloth Diapers and gentle XtraHydrating Wipes on hand for diaper changes.
  • Pack a few sets of newborn clothes, including onesies, sleepers, and socks, to dress the baby after delivery.
  • Have a few burp cloths or small towels available to clean up any spit-up or messes.
  • If you plan to breastfeed, have SuperBottoms Mustard Seed Pillow and Dry Feel Nursing pads on hand. If you're formula feeding, bring along bottles, bottle covers, formula, and sterilised water.
  • It's a good idea to have a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator available to clear the baby's nose if needed, as well as any prescribed medications or medical supplies recommended by your healthcare provider.

Remember to discuss your preferences and any specific needs with your healthcare provider or birthing team before labor begins. They can provide guidance and support to help ensure a smooth and safe arrival for your baby.

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Silent Labor Signs Or Early Signs Of Labor:

Also known as pre-labor symptoms, there are specific sign of labor pain symptoms you might experience that indicate that labor is near but hasn't begun yet. Here are the sign of labor pain:

  1. Baby drops: As labor approaches, the baby descends into the pelvis, causing relief in lung pressure but increased discomfort in the bladder and lower back. This shift, known as "Baby Drop," indicates the baby's preparation for vaginal birth and is commonly felt by the mother as a noticeable change in pressure and urinary frequency.
  2. Cervical dilation: During late pregnancy check-ups, your doctor may observe cervical dilation, signalling the onset of labor. This process involves the opening and thinning of the cervix in preparation for childbirth, and regular examinations in the weeks leading up to delivery can provide valuable insights into the progression of labor.
  3. Physical changes: As labor nears, expect intensified cramps, back pain, and loosening joints due to the hormone relaxin preparing the body for childbirth. Relaxin, produced by the placenta, helps to relax the pelvic ligaments and soften the cervix, facilitating the baby's passage through the birth canal. These discomforts are common signs that the body is preparing for birthing and may vary in intensity among individuals.
  4. Diarrhoea: Relaxin can also lead to pre-labour diarrhoea by affecting rectum muscles. This loosening effect extends to the gastrointestinal tract muscles, resulting in increased bowel movements and sometimes diarrhoea. While uncomfortable, this symptom is a normal part of the body's preparation for childbirth and is often accompanied by other signs of impending Labor.
  5. Weight loss: Towards the end of the third trimester, water loss from diarrhoea and frequent urination may cause a slight weight reduction. As the body prepares for labor, it undergoes various physiological changes, including shedding excess fluids. As the due date approaches, this can result in a minor decrease in body weight, typically up to a kilogram or two.
  6. Fatigue and nesting instinct: A surge in fatigue and the nesting instinct, characterised by a drive to prepare the home, typically precedes labor by a day or two. As the body gears up for the demands of childbirth, many expectant mothers experience increased fatigue and a strong urge to organise and clean their surroundings, known as nesting.

While these symptoms may be tiring, they often serve as psychological and physiological cues that labour is imminent, prompting expectant parents to finalise preparations for their baby's arrival.

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How Can I Tell True Signs of Labor and False Alarms Apart?

Sometimes what you might assume to be early signs of labor or silent labour signs at 37 weeks or earlier can be just Braxton hicks contractions. They feel just like Labor but are a false alarm. On the other hand, some women experience frequent Braxton hicks contractions in the final weeks before actual signs of labor are approaching. Here is how you can tell the two apart:


Actual Labor

False Alarm (Braxton Hicks)

How regular are the contractions?


The contractions are regular and last 30 – 70 seconds each.

They are irregular and do not get closer each time. They usually happen after exhausting physical activity.

How strong are the contractions?


The contractions keep getting stronger over time, making it difficult for you to walk or talk.


They are painful but do not get stronger over time. They reduce if you take a walk or change position.

If you have had a false labor, it is the right time to start doing exercises to have a vaginal delivery, as these exercises will help you create a flexible body for childbirth. And if you are 40 weeks pregnant no signs of labor, you can also try some safe exercises to induce Labor.

What Is Preterm Labor?

Preterm labor occurs when contractions and the onset of labor happen before the 37th week of pregnancy, affecting about 10% of pregnancies. While most pregnancies progress to full term, it's essential to recognize signs of preterm labor and promptly contact your gynecologist if you experience them before the 37th week. Despite the natural concerns about labor and childbirth, remember that your body has been preparing for this event throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Take this time to relax, minimize stress, and embrace the journey of bringing new life into the world. You've got this, mamma!

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  1. Recognise common signs of approaching labor, such as contractions, backache, water breaking, and bloody show.
  2. Prepare a birth plan outlining preferences for pain management, delivery method, and who will be present during delivery.
  3. Stay calm, breathe deeply, and trust your body's ability to give birth during Labor, knowing it's a temporary phase leading to the arrival of your baby.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are the common signs of labor approaching that indicate that the delivery time is almost here?

Ans. The common signs of labor that indicate that the delivery time is almost here include contractions, backache, water breaking, and bloody show.

Q2. When should I notify my healthcare provider about my early signs of Labor?

Ans. It's essential to notify your healthcare provider when experiencing any labour signs. This will allow them to monitor your progress and provide any necessary support.

Q3. Is White Discharge A Sign Of Labor?

Ans. White discharge is common during pregnancy, but it's not a direct sign of labor. However, changes in discharge closer to delivery, along with other symptoms like contractions or the 'bloody show,' may indicate labor is approaching.

Message From SuperBottoms

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1. Signs of labor: Know what to expect
2. Signs of Labor: 11 Early Signs & Symptoms of Labor

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