What are the signs of labor during the final weeks?

Pregnancy weeks have passed, sweet or sour they went leaving you at the edge of your seat waiting for your little one to arrive. If this is your first pregnancy you must be suspecting any unusual pain as a sign of labor. To give you peace of mind, and save you unnecessary trips to the hospital, we are sharing with you the signs of labor that indicate you will have your baby soon.

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Omooma
Published on:Jun 25th 2023 |Updated on:Jan 10th 2024
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When does the last month of pregnancy start?

The ninth and last month of pregnancy start from the 37th week and last till the 40th. A baby born after the 37th week is a full-term baby. In some cases, gestation can last beyond the 40th week.

Is pregnancy duration fixed?

Medically speaking pregnancy lasts nine months, or 40 weeks, it might last 41 and in some rare cases 42 weeks. But, for unclear reasons, pregnancies are not as long for everyone. Some women go through preterm labor, some are induced, and some undergo C-sections. Labor is also different for the same women in different pregnancies. A woman can have her first baby during the 41st week, then the second baby in the 39th week, and her 3rd child during the 37th week, therefore the duration of pregnancy is unpredictable.

Getting ready for labor

Make sure you cover the below steps during the third trimester:

  • Check the validity of your health insurance and its coverage for labor and beyond.
  • Visit the maternity hospital and check their delivery rooms and baby care policy.
  • Write the birth plan.
  • Prepare the hospital bag.
  • Set a postpartum plan by asking family and friends for help, and consider hiring outside help as well.
  • Prepare healthy meals and put them in the freezer.
  • Buy all the necessary things new moms need.
  • Shop for baby essentials.
  • Book a photoshoot for the newborn at the hospital.

Signs of labor during the final weeks

A surge of energy

Do you feel a sudden urge to clean the house and tidy up your cabinets? Don’t be surprised this is called nesting it is one of the signs of labor during the final weeks of pregnancy. Don’t fight this surge of energy, tidy up the house, and pack your bag, you might head to the hospital soon.

Weight loss

Good news! You won’t have to wait till after delivery to start shedding the weight. You might lose from half a kilo up to a kilo and a half, a few days before delivery. Your body drops excessive water, and you go to the bathroom more often which are also symptoms of labor.

Contractions

They are the most obvious labor sign; these cramps are like menstrual cramping. These contractions happen as the uterine muscles get ready to push the baby. The contractions leading up to the day of labor are called Braxton Hicks and they are shorter, irregular, and less intense than the actual contractions.

Back pain

Back pain is normal during pregnancy, but back pain during the few days before labor is more intense and it radiates to the pelvic area.

Feeling lighter

As your baby drops down into the pelvis getting ready to come out, most expecting women feel surprisingly lighter a day or two before delivering the baby.

Increase in vaginal discharge

Your vaginal discharge changes in the few days leading up to delivery it becomes more frequent.  

Increase in pelvic pressure

Because the baby is dropping down to be closer to the birth canal, the pressure on your pelvis increases, becoming uncomfortable especially when sitting down.

Frequent urination

Due to hormonal changes and increased pressure on the bladder.

Diarrhea

During the final weeks of pregnancy, your body will increase the production of Prostaglandins that cause the loosening of your bowels and diarrhea.

Loose joints

During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which helps loosen your hip joints to facilitate labor. During this final month, this hormone increases, so you will feel more loosening in your joints.

Dilation of the cervix

As your due date approaches your prenatal checkups will become more frequent. During the checkup, your doctor will examine your cervix for dilation. Be ready your doctor might find you dilated enough to send you straight to the maternity ward.

Falling of the mucus plug

This is an important sign of labor you can read everything about it in this article.

The water breaking

When this happens go straight to the hospital if you don’t want to have your baby at home or in the car, and to avoid any infections.

 

The moment of labor can’t be predicted exactly, but when you listen to your body you will find signs of labor getting closer. We wish you a safe and easy delivery.

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OmoomaOmooma | First Online Arabic Motherhood Training Platform

Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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