Signs Your Partner is Approaching Labor

From start to finish, pregnancy is tricky. Whether you’re waiting to learn if you’re pregnant or waiting for labor, the signs and symptoms involved can be confusing. Just as all people are different, all women experience childbirth a little differently, so a sign of labor for one person might not be there for another person. What’s more, every pregnancy is different! Even if you’ve been through a pregnancy before, labor can be a different experience the next time. If your partner is pregnant, it can be frustrating to try to decipher the signs. The following symptoms are fairly universal, though, so pay attention if any of these things seem to be happening.

  • Labor hormones can cause shivering. If it’s not cold and your partner is layering up, she might be in labor.
  • A loss of appetite could mean labor. Just as early pregnancy often causes women to feel nauseous and disinterested in food, labor beginning can cause the same symptoms, along with increased thirst. Ginger chews and ice chips can be very helpful.
  • Back pain can be a sign of impending labor. It’s understandable that a pregnant woman’s back will hurt, because she’s carrying around the extra weight of pregnancy. In the early stages of labor, though, that lower back pain may become intense. If she can’t seem to get comfortable, is having menstrual-like cramps, and her back is aching, pay attention because it could mean it’s almost time to head to the hospital.
  • As the due date grows nearer, pay attention to contractions. Your partner may have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for some time, but if the contractions start getting stronger and longer, it could be almost time for the baby to arrive. How do you know when contractions are actually labor? They’ll come close together, around five minutes or so apart, and your partner will not be able to walk or talk through them.
  • When labor is approaching, the baby may drop. This can give your partner a feeling of lightness and she may be able to breathe and speak more easily because there’s less pressure on her diaphragm. The flip side of this is that she may have to go to the bathroom more often because there’s more pressure on her bladder.
  • Her water may break, and it may not be like the movies. Sometimes it’s just like you’d expect, a gush of fluids rushing out suddenly. However, it’s not always that obvious. Some women experience trickling fluid for a while, and may not realize that this is what’s happening. Encourage her to call her doctor if this is happening, because it means the “seal” around the baby has broken.
  • In the end stages of pregnancy, her joints may feel loose. Pregnancy hormones work to relax the joints, muscles and ligaments, to allow the pelvis to open and give birth. Unfortunately for your partner, those same hormones may loosen her bowels as well. The good news is, it’s a sign that birth is near.
  • If she’s fatigued but still obsessed with organizing the nursery, she’s probably getting close. It’s hard to sleep in the third trimester, which can lead to fatigue. By the same token, many women feel an urgency to “nest” right at the end of the pregnancy.

If you think your partner is in labor or close to it, encourage her to call her medical provider. They won’t mind an extra phone call or two, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s imperative to call if there’s bleeding or bright red discharge, her water breaks, or she experiences blurred or double vision, a severe headache, or sudden swelling, which can be signs of a life-threatening condition known as preeclampsia.  If she’s experiencing the signs of labor before the 37th week, call the doctor: it could be preterm labor. It’s always better to give the medical practitioner a call in the interest keeping both mom and baby healthy and safe.

At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.