1. Weeks before labor begins, many women may begin to notice weight loss. This is a common signs that the pregnancy is about to come to term. This is because retained fluids are being released.
2. Engagement, lightening, and dropping are a few of the terms that are applied to when the child prepares for birth. This may lead to less pressure on the lungs, but additional pressure on the bladder. This may happen between a few weeks or a few hours before labor.
3. The feeling of loose joints may become present. This is the body’s natural preparation for birth. This is caused by a hormone called relaxin. The purpose of relaxin is to allow the ligaments near the birth canal to move more freely. This may happen weeks or hours before labor.
4. Relaxin also is responsible for the dilation and effacement of your cervix. During the weeks prior to labor, weekly checkups with your doctor will guide your actions. Some people dilate less quickly than others, so do not be concerned if your cervix is not changing rapidly.
5. Back pain may also be present some time before labor begins. This is due to the changing structure of your hips and lower back. Your joints and muscles are stretching to make room for the birth of your child.
6. Diarrhea may be present for weeks before birth. This is normal and a healthy sign. This is due to the maneuvering of your muscles as your body prepares for birth. It is important to care for the loss of water that you are experiencing at this time.
7. Blood may appear prior to labor. This is due to the removal of a mucus plug that protected your child. This is also normal and healthy. This can appear days before labor or immediately preceding it.
8. Contractions may increase in frequency over a range of time periods. Some women experiencing a gradual increase of contraction frequency and intensity. Other women may have a sudden increase. Each person is different and previous pregnancies may be different than the current one.
9. Water breaking, or the rupturing of the amniotic membrane, is a sign that labor will begin shortly. Not all women experience this sign, so do not expect this to be the certain sign that labor is about to occur. However, if you do experience it, then that means labor will likely begin shortly.
It is important to care for your body while remaining comfortable, especially during late pregnancy. Diarrhea is a normal experience, but should be cared for all the same. Drink additional water, as you will be losing much fluids during this time. This will help you keep up your energy and maintain your health. You may also want to minimize fluids that are sugary or fatty. Sweetened drinks and dairy products may cause difficulties at this time.
You may also want to change your diet. By reducing fatty foods, you will make these experiences much more pleasant. Reduce fiber as well, as you do not need excess fiber in your diet at this time. Acidic and greasy foods should be avoided as well. Keep your meals nutritious, yet light. This will help you at this time.
Avoid certain ingredients as well. Sorbitol, a sweetener, is influential in causing diarrhea. Caffeine, as every coffee drinker knows, also influences bowel movements. Reduce consumption of apple and pear juice. Additionally, avoid any foods that normally cause flatulence.
Vegetable broth and tea will help to reinvigorate your body with salts and minerals that are lost during diarrhea. Honey in your tea can replace cream, lemon, or processed sugar. Bland food, such a potatoes, rice, bread, and noodles are recommended. This will allow your digestive system to make easy work of the food that you are consuming.
It is also important to reduce stress and relax at this time. If you are not already taking time to yourself regularly, then do so at this time. You may find that you will want to be near a restroom as often as possible. You will likely be urinating and defecting often. Focus on yourself at this time. It is certainly more than acceptable to be a little selfish at this time.