About six months into my pregnancy with my first child, I just knew he was going to be born before his due date (which happened to be Halloween). When I would share my prediction with other mothers, they would toss their head back and laugh, claiming first-time mothers rarely go into labor early. They said I should expect to go past my due date and deal with it. I know that having a gut feeling doesn't count as one of the legitimate signs your baby is coming early, but there must be something to it since my baby was born two weeks earlier than expected.
Looking back, I experienced more than one symptom of an early labor, but at the time I didn't know there was a connection. After delivering my first son two weeks earlier than expected, I made sure to be prepared for the unexpected when I found out I was pregnant with baby boy number two. This meant my hospital bag was packed and ready to go in the first trimester, which worked out great since my second baby arrived three weeks early.
Whether or not you have a sneaking suspicion that your little one will make his way into the world before the calendar predicts, see if you are experiencing any of these seven signs your baby is coming early, so you can have your bag packed and ready as well.
1. You Have Tummy Troubles
Got a rumble in your belly? It could mean more than the backlash from the feisty burrito you ate last night. According to Healthline, diarrhea close to your due date could be a sign that your baby is coming soon, and labor may start. If this happens, make sure to drink lots of fluids to boost hydration.
2. You Feel Less Pressure In Your Abdominals
A feeling described as "lightening" by pregnant women, is due to the lightened pressure in the abdomen once the baby drops into position for delivery, as What To Expect's website explained. If this happens a few weeks before your due date, it's a strong sign your baby is coming early.
3. Your Back Aches
Aches and pains are part of the deal during pregnancy, but certain discomforts during your last trimester could mean your baby will be arriving ahead of schedule. As the website for Mother and Baby pointed out, "an ache in your lower back can mean your baby is rotating into the right position for labor." If you feel twinges of a backache, make sure you hospital bag is packed.
4. Your Cervix Is Dilated
Real labor starts once the cervix is dilated to 10 centimeters, as the American Pregnancy Association reported. Making it to 10 centimeters takes some time, but chances are, you may be a few centimeters earlier than expected. If your cervix starts to open early on in your third trimester, signs are pointing to your baby being born before her due date.
5. You Have Stubborn Contractions
It's common to feel contractions throughout the course of your pregnancy, but when they come on stronger and don't go away, it's time to pay attention, as Parents magazine suggested. This is one early sign of labor that could signal others are to follow and your little one is one her way.
6. You Lost Your Mucus Plug Early
According to Healthine, pregnant woman commonly lose their mucus plug between 37 and 40 weeks. So if you notice a slightly blood-tinged bit of discharge shows up before the usual timeframe, it's your body's way to letting you know labor is just around the corner.
7. You Have Bacterial Vaginosis
If your OB-GYN has discovered you have bacterial vaginosis, she may also warn you that your labor could start early. As Parents magazine pointed out, there is a link between bacterial vaginosis and preterm labor, so if you receive this diagnosis make sure your prepared for your baby to come at any minute.