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Early Signs Of Labour : What To Look For

Early signs of labour can sometimes be confusing, especially if this is your first pregnancy. It can also make you feel apprehensive, and nervous. There are some early signs of labour that can be a good indicator that your baby is on their way.


Early signs of labour


The First Stage Of Labour

Labour is broken into stages. The first stage is commonly broken into two parts and this is the stage when your body begins to prepare for birth. The first part of this stage is sometimes referred to as the latent stage, and the second part is sometimes called established labour. You’ll experience contractions as your cervix softens and dilates. The second stage begins when your cervix is 10 cm dilated and ends after your baby has been born. The third stage is after your baby is born, until the placenta has been delivered.


The first stage of labour is usually the one that lasts the longest. First time mums can often stay in this stage for six to twelve hours. Subsequent labours tend to be shorter, but every person and every labour is different.


Signs Of The First Stage Of Labour

While every labour is different, there are a few early signs of labour that most people tend to experience.



A common early sign of labour is backache. Some feel it as a back pain, mostly in the lower back. Others say that it’s not much of a pain, and more of a heavy feeling in the back and lower abdomen.


A Show

During pregnancy, a plug of mucus forms in the cervix. It makes a seal, which keeps bacteria and infection away from your uterus and your baby. When labour starts, the plug has essentially done its job, so it’s no longer needed. You may notice it as a pinkish jelly substance. Sometimes, it comes away in a whole piece, but it may be in several small pieces. Some women don’t notice it at all. However, if you do notice it, it is one of the early signs of labour.



One of the most well-known early signs of labour is contractions. In the latent stage, they may come quite irregularly, and you might wonder if this actually means that you are in labour. Sometimes, contractions can be a Braxton Hicks contractions, so you should time your contractions and consult a healthcare professional if you are unsure. Keep note of how often they come, and if and when they start coming on a regular basis.


This stage is a good time to try to eat and drink. You’ll need energy for giving birth, but you may not want to eat during the later stages. You may also be feeling pain and discomfort. A soft, gentle massage, or a warm bath might help give you some relief.