What are the signs of labor? How do you know labor is about to begin! How do you recognize signs that labor is near? If you pay close attention, you can see these signs of labor. And it means your labor and birth are happening. You’ll be holding your baby soon!

Pre-labor Contractions

Pre-labor contractions are a sign labor is near. But, if it’s your first baby, you may not even experience pre-labor contractions. These signs of labor may feel like mild menstrual cramps. Or you may feel an intermittent back ache.If you’ve already had one baby at least, your pre-labor contractions can literally last for days or weeks before the real work of labor begins. Though it may not mean that labor is about to start, it means your body and baby are moving in the right direction.

Weight Loss 


Yes! It’s true. Your weight loss may be small,1-5 lbs., but it’s a true sign labor is near and will begin soon within hours or days.

Runny Stools 


You can get a big surge of progesterone that can cause your body to have what feels and appears like diarrhea. This happens often right before you get your period too. That’s a sign of labor that your body is cleaning itself out and getting ready for baby to enter the world. This is a sure sign labor of labor approaching in the next day or two, unless you ate something bad. Then it’s just diarrhea.

Mucous Plug or “Bloody Show”

This mucous plug keeps bad bacteria out of the uterus and when the cervix begins to ripen, or get ready to open, the mucous plug comes out. So, if you find what looks very much like stringy, bloody, boogers in your undies, it’s probably your mucous plug. First time moms can even lose their plug weeks before labor begins. Many moms who have already given birth before will lose it right before labor begins. If it’s not your first baby, it means labor is about to begin.


A lot of extra mucous – your cervix has glands in it and when your body approaches the time for labor, your cervix can produce a significant amount of mucous. You may even need to wear a pad. 

Burst of Energy 

I’m still waiting for my burst of energy! But many women get that nesting instinct. If you find yourself highly motivated to get a project done, clean the house, organize the closets, SLOW DOWN! That is one of the signs labor is near. This is called the nesting instinct and you need to chill out! Save that energy for labor. You’re going to need it! Because labor is about to begin within 24-48 hours.

Fatigue and Nausea 

Some moms feel the opposite of the nesting instinct. This is your body’s way of telling you to take a chill pill. Conserve your energy. Take a nap. Read a book. Watch a movie. Binge watch something. Your hormones are taking a dive and a surge. You’ll need that energy for later, so eat and drink and rest.

Your Amniotic Sac Breaks


Only 10-12% of women’s bags of waters break before labor begins. But rest assured. According to Evidence Based Birth 45% of women will go into labor on their own within 12 hours. 75-95% will go into labor within 24 hours. Waiting for labor to start on its own and being induced are both viable options. In most cases, waiting for labor to begin on its own is safer for both mother and baby. Labor is definitely about to begin.

Related Content Signs of Labor: Read my post about when to leave for your birth place in first stage labor.