Labor Pain Or Not: Here are 15 Signs Labor is 24 48 Hours Away

Congrats, you made it! It’s the special day of your life that you have been happy or maybe nervously waiting for months for your baby’s arrival. Only a few hours left for you to meet your baby.

Your baby’s precise birthdate will be a surprise unless you have a scheduled c-section1. It’s more likely to happen two weeks before or after your “official” due date.

Although the calendar cannot provide you with a specific date, your body can date, and your body can offer you cues in the form of early signs labor is 24-48 hours away indicating that the baby is on the way.

It’s okay to feel nervous thinking about how labor will feel, whether will it be painful, for how long is it going to last, whether will it be normal delivery, and whether is it real pain or just another false labor.

Every child’s birth is different, but knowing the labor signs can help you know that it’s time to meet your baby.

Is labor expected to start in the next 24 to 48 hours?

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When you’re pregnant, you experience a wide range of emotions and sensations. Your upcoming labor will add more. Some symptoms suggest that your labor will begin shortly.

Labor, on the other hand, is a procedure. Even once it begins, it could take anything from a few hours to many days until you see your baby.

The labor signs listed below are good signs that labor is on its way. Some signs of labor may take a bit to appear, but don’t worry; you’ll be in labor shortly. Here are 15 signs labor is 24 48 hours away; you need to look out for

1. Baby Dropping

The baby drops begin when your baby descends into your pelvis if you’re a first-time mom. Baby Dropping is one of the most important signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away.

This usually occurs a few weeks prior to labor or two or four weeks prior to your due date, but it can happen at any time.

The baby doesn’t “drop” until you are really in labor in future births. Ideally, your baby drops to be ready to escape with the head down and low.

2.  Water Breaking

The amniotic sac is a fluid-filled membranous sac that covers and acts as a cushion for your baby during pregnancy. Typically, your membranes will rupture, which is also known as water breaking.

If your water breaks naturally, it means the baby’s head is putting pressure inside your sac, and the most important signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away.

But don’t worry, water breaking is not as dramatic as it is shown on TV. Women notice little wetness in their underwear or a trickle of water.

3. Mucus Plug

A mucus plug, also known as the bloody show, is one of the signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away in which a series of mucus is formed in the cervical canal in the early stages of pregnancy.

It is mainly formed so that no bacteria or infection can reach your baby inside the uterus. Once the actual labor is near the mucus plug loosens and drops a clump of mucus. You will experience a mucus plug before the water break.

For some, this happens after urinating in the toilet, and for others, you can notice them on your underwear. Increased vaginal discharge indicates that labor is approaching.

The mucus plug looks like a jelly-like substance. The color of the mucus plug can be pink or red, almost like blood hence the bloody name show. Don’t be scared; this usually happens when you release a mucus plug.

4. Weight loss

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It’s normal to lose weight as your pregnancy progresses. This is perfectly normal and will not affect the baby’s weight. Amniotic fluid levels are lower, and more restroom breaks and physical activity could be the reasons contributing to weight loss.

When your labor is near, you might expect 1 or 2 pounds of weight loss, usually water weight. This happens just a day or two before you go into delivery.

It happens because of the decrease in amniotic fluid at the final stages of your pregnancy, and you might also be taking frequent breaks to the bathroom.

5. Back pain

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Back pain is common throughout pregnancy as joints and ligaments relax naturally in preparation for labor. While some aches are to be expected during pregnancy, pre-labour back pain is distinct and more unpleasant.

Back pain is one of the signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away. Lower back pain may become more excruciating and spread to the pelvis.

Changing positions does not relieve the agony, and it usually lasts until the baby is born.

Read more about A Detailed Guide On Lower Back Pain Causes And Remedies

6. Fatigue

Don’t be surprised if you’re full of energy one day and completely drained the next. This phase of the first trimester can be repeated near the end of the third trimester as if you truly need a snooze!

Sleeping can be difficult when you’re nine months pregnant but try to get some rest and conserve your energy. It’ll be quite useful to be rested—after all, labor is called that for a reason.

7. A shift in your sleeping habits

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Women may be more alert before giving birth, and some women report that they can’t sleep; some women claim that they sleep better.

You may feel irritated in the days leading up to labor, experience a burst of energy, and have a good night’s sleep the night before. Some people may have a difficult time sleeping the last two or three nights (before giving birth).

8. Mood swings

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By Liza Summer from Pexels/Copyright 2021

You may have increased worry, mood fluctuations, weepiness, or a general sense of impatience in the days leading up to your due date. (We understand that this is difficult to discern from the ordinary impatience of a 9-month-pregnant woman.)

These could all be signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away; your entire body is preparing you for labor day.

9. Cramps

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Menstrual cramps, which are one of the early indicators of early labor, are a familiar sensation. It could be signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away if you’re starting to feel diffuse discomfort and pain in your abdomen.

10. Diarrhea

Prostaglandins 2are hormones that help ripen your cervix a day or two before labor begins. These are the same hormones that are responsible for diarrhea.

The silver lining: your uterus contracts more efficiently when you empty your bowels during childbirth. You’ll be fine if you just drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated.

11. Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions, which are also known as false labor pains, can occur a few weeks prior to the start of labor. Braxton hicks contraction is your body telling you to get ready for early labour, but that doesn’t mean it is started.

Because many pregnant women are unaware of Braxton hick’s3 contraction, they frequently seek medical attention and undertake unneeded testing for them. As your uterine muscles prepare for labor, Braxton hicks contraction can happen.

On the other hand, False Labor contractions are more intense, occur more frequently, and can last for more than a minute. When real active labor contractions start to occur every 4 to 5 minutes, labor begins within 1 to 2 days.

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12. Cervical dilation

You’ll have weekly checkups near the end of your pregnancy, during which your doctor will check your cervix to see how far you’ve dilated. The opening of the cervix to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal is called dilation.

Although the cervix must dilate at least 10 centimetres for a vaginal delivery, cervical dilation of at least 2 to 3 centimetres are a frequent sign that your labor is 24 to 48 hours away. At the end of the day, dilating your cervix before the baby is born is crucial and required, but it’s not always useful to keep checking.

13. Loosening of joints

The end of pregnancy causes your body to produce more relaxation, a hormone that loosens your joints and ligaments in preparation for delivery.

A few days before birth, women report looser, more relaxed joints in their pelvic and lower back. As an unforeseen adverse effect of relaxing, you may have diarrhea.

When the muscles around your rectum relax, this can happen.

14. Vaginal pain

The sensation of shooting pains in your vaginal and pelvic area is known as Lightning Crotch. Your infant’s position causes it as they drop into the birth canal.

While it is one of the signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away and that you’re getting close to meeting your baby, it doesn’t always imply that labor is on the way. It might last for weeks before you give birth.

15. Over emotional

Even if you’re normally sensitive, you may find yourself sobbing more frequently during pregnancy. Uncontrollable outpourings of emotion may catch you off guard if you’re someone who rarely sheds a tear.

Being over-emotional and moody for no reason could be one of the signs labor is 24 to 48 hours away.

How do you feel in the hours leading up to your due date?

Although this begins a few weeks into the last trimester of pregnancy, most women experience a surge of energy in the days leading up to delivery.

You can only get a hunch that labor is approaching, and you get a burst of energy to get things done. This is your instinct and awareness, which is tuned in to both your kid and your own body.

Expecting mothers who go through a major life shift on their own terms, such as moving into a new house or renovating, have a natural inclination to establish a nest. They’ll finish the job before going into labor.

Gentle exercise, on the other hand, can help you prepare. Yoga and careful stretching during pregnancy might help you maintain your stamina and flexibility during labor as well as relieve back pain.

Daily walks in the fresh air may also be useful.

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Image by Marjon Besteman from Pixabay/Copyright 2021


Q. What causes the start of the labor process if you’re on the lookout for signs labor is 24 48 hours away?

According to the researchers, certain cell markers arise immediately before childbirth and enter the amniotic fluid. After that, the baby releases a cocktail of hormones 4that make their way to the mother’s brain. The baby’s lungs also signal when he or she is ready to leave the womb.

The mother’s uterus and cervix will respond to both cell markers and the baby’s lungs, essentially saying, ‘Let’s do something.’ The improvements we’ve been waiting for have arrived.’

Q. Is it possible for labor to start and stop over a period of days?

This does happen, but it isn’t very common. Depending on a variety of conditions, labor symptoms can last for days or even weeks.

When labor begins, the only thing that can stop it is an abrupt reduction in the supply of oxytocin, the major hormone in labor. Because of the action of adrenaline, oxytocin levels fall. When our adrenaline levels rise, labor comes to a halt.

Labor is halted until the mother is safe, as the body recognizes this is a “fight or flight” situation. After that, labor can resume.

Q. When is the most common time for labor to begin?

We’ve seen how hormones help to facilitate labor. Labor normally begins when our bodies are relaxed and our adrenaline levels are at their lowest.

Oxytocin levels can rise, and a hormone called melatonin works in tandem with oxytocin to enhance successful contractions.

Q. When do you expect this to happen?

It normally occurs at night, when you’re comfortable and stress-free, and your melatonin levels are naturally greater. If the latent phase of labor lasts a long time, there will be a lot of contractions at night that will stop during the day.

Mammals in the wild prefer to give birth in secret, even from their own species. When you’re in the middle of labor, being gazed at isn’t exactly pleasant.

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Q. What are the symptoms that you should go to the hospital if you’re in labor?

It’s time to see your doctor if they are becoming more regular, painful, and long (typically 30 to 70 seconds each). Contractions that are more frequent with more intensity are usually an indication that labor is begun. Start keeping track of how long your contractions last and how far apart they are.

However, if you experience significant bleeding or your water breaks, go to the hospital right away, and don’t hesitate to call your doctor if anything looks weird or you’re unclear about what to do.

The contractions are quite painful for the overwhelming majority of patients. It’s tough to communicate during real contractions.

It’s possible that the baby will become less active. However, you should still be able to feel the baby move and possibly even feel kicks. You should feel about ten kicks every 2 hours till delivery. As the baby approaches the canal, you’ll feel kicks in your lower belly.

Also check out, The 3c’s of Healthy Relationships for Every Couple

Health Tips For Working Pregnant Women
Icy Health
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  2. Jara-Gutiérrez, Álvaro, and Victoriano Baladrón. “The role of prostaglandins in different types of cancer.” Cells 10.6 (2021): 1487. ↩︎
  3. Turk, Esra Abaci, et al. “Change in T2* measurements of placenta and fetal organs during Braxton Hicks contractions.” Placenta 128 (2022): 69-71. ↩︎
  4. Chainy, Gagan BN, and Dipak Kumar Sahoo. “Hormones and oxidative stress: an overview.” Free Radical Research 54.1 (2020): 1-26. ↩︎

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