Is there such a thing as pre labour symptoms?

I'm 35+5 and was just wondering if there are any "signs" you get that could indicate that labour may start soon? I know everyone is different and it can be hard to tell and that "you'll know when it's happening" but I only ask as I have been experiencing some concerning symptoms recently (lower back ache, more frequent braxton hicks that seem to intensify when moving around, feeling sick, period pain like cramping, loose bowl movements, not being able to sleep well, teary/moody) They may mean nothing, they may mean something but it's my first baby and my partner is working nights a 3 hour drive away and my mum is currently on holiday in Spain so I'm kind of dealing with all this on my own! (I'm still working so don't get to see my partner during the week) I see the midwife on Friday but I am unsure if these symptoms are something I should be addressing earlier or whether I'll be fine leaving it till Friday and speaking to my midwife then? Had a scare a few weeks ago that baby may be coming earlier as was measuring small and Dr was concerned but all seems ok now but I feel like such a bother to everyone since then and I don't want to cause a load more for my partner/midwife/mum if it's just going to turn out to be nothing but at the same time I don't want to ignore it if there's any possibilities that baby may want out sooner!!

Sorry for the long post but I really don't know what to do.

Thank you in advance xxx

11 Replies

  • Hiya EmmaJane, when I had my first he came at 36weeks but I didn't know the signs either so never recognised that I was in labour. I had a show on the Saturday morn it was discharge which was pink with blood streaks running through it when I went to the toilet (only seen it the once) on the Tues had lower back ache (I thought I had a chill on my back so went sick off work) laid up on the sofa with period type pains and my bowels were loose so thought I had some kind of tummy upset. Had a midwife app on the Thurs afternoon (routine) and told her I had been having a tightening of my tummy (which I thought was Braxton hicks) and she said no they are contractions. I had been having the tightening's since weds but they were not painful. My son was born at 6.03am on the Friday morning.

    Have you got the Antenatal ward telephone number at your hospital that you are having your baby in?? Give them a ring and ask to speak to a midwife tell her your symptoms and they may ask you to go in and have a check up, for reassurance more than anything.

  • They could all definitely be signs if hormonal effects on smooth muscle (uterus, bowel) and skeletal muscle (aches, pains) getting things ready to go. It doesn't necessarily mean you are imminently going to labour though. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be an indication to seek help - trusting baby is nice and active? Even in true labour, until you start to dilate, hospital would likely send you home u til you are further on, as labour wards just do not have the capacity to admit everyone in early labour.

    I would tell your mum and partner though, so they can at least prepare for getting to you ASAP if necessary - much easier to do with some prep time, then saying/doing nothing. Doesn't 't mean they have to head straight to your side, but might facilitate doing so if you need them.

  • Def sounds like things are going the right way. .. But that can go on for a week. ... Just have chat with ur midwife no harm in that. .. and of course worried if ur othrr half is three hours away and mum is on hols. .. Have u got any friends on stand by so at least people can be there in early stages of labour x

  • I am 36 weeks today and getting all the same symptoms as you.. i feel like my body is getting ready :) tho everyone says my bump is still so high.. my braxton hicks actually woke me out of my sleep last night :( hope i last past saturday as its my best friends hen night :) xxx

  • Hiya, in the two weeks leading up to my son's birth nearly 6 months ago, I was really noticing a difference in the way I was feeling, such as generally feeling more achey and uncomfortable, I kept waking in the night with cramps (like period type cramps), in fact this happened every night for about 2 weeks. I had looser bowels too and I just had a feeling that my body was preparing for it and I was really hoping that I wasn't going to feel like that for the next 5 weeks until my due date! And it just so happened that I gave birth 3 weeks early at 37 + 2 so I was right (which I was quite relieved about). I never had a 'show'. This doesn't necessarily mean that it will be the same for you, but I would say definitely be prepared - my labour seemed to happen quite quickly (it was my first). I stayed at home as long as I could bear it as that's what I was told to do and was ready to push by the time I got to hospital. I don't mean to scare you though! Having said all this, if my partner had been working 3 hours away at the time he still would have had time to get back if I had called him as soon as my waters broke because it was about 12 hours from my waters breaking to my son being born, although obviously you want someone with you the whole time really. I wish you the best of luck x

  • I'm 35 plus 2, meeting my baby today by c-section as pre eclampsia but also pre labour signs.

    My waters are down to 3% - I noticed a week ago after a shower a little gush of clear fluid ran own my legs, surprised me, from that day on my knickers were a little bit wet, just kept changing them! Oops nearly all gone.

    Alot of braxton hicks, and very regular for the last two weeks

    Then pre eclampsia signs came into affect last week :(

  • Ahh poor you! Hope everything goes well for you and your little one. I'm sure all will be fine! Bet it's exciting (and a little scary) knowing that you will soon have your baby in your arms!

    All the best and make sure you take care of yourself!


  • Thanks everyone for all your help and advice. I rang the delivery suit last night as the cramping had been persistant all day and the braxton hicks had been more regular and intense but hadn't regulated into a patern or anything and they said that it just sounds like braxton hicks and to go to the maternity day unit today to get checked over by a midwife as weren't happy about me waiting till fri. So I guess we'll just have to see what they say! Bit annoyed as I've been having braxton hicks for weeks now and it's defiantly more an intense pain along with the cramping but I guess they're the experts!! Thanks again everyone and will re post when I have more news ??


  • So I spoke to the day unit at my local maternity unit and they said that they just sound like braxton hicks and to mention it to my midwife tomorrow. Bit annoying, especially when you've been up since half past 4 in the morning with them but hey, what can you do! Thanks again everyone xxx

  • Ah good luck with your appointment tomorrow at least you will get to speak to her and she can have a feel of your tummy.

  • Well, just an update for you all. Saw the midwife this morning and baby's 3/5's engaged and all the symptoms I've been having are all positive signs that things are moving forward! Still 4 weeks till my due date and I know they can come out of engagement and that things could still be weeks off so I'm trying not to get too excited about it all but it's so hard not to!!!! :) Midwife said main thing now is to keep an eye on the braxton hicks as I've been having them daily and they can suddenly change to real contractions! Anyone been in a similar situation? How long after you were told baby had started to engage did they arrive?


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