⦁ Strong Braxton-Hicks contractions OR incoordinate contractions. These are contractions that are ‘all over the place’. If their partner is documenting times etc., there will not be any pattern developing. This can be very tiring for women.
⦁ Backache – this may be from the position of the baby (posterior) or that the cervix is softening and ripening as the baby engages.
⦁ Period Pain – can be felt as the pelvic ligaments are stretching. This pelvic flexibility allows the bones to open, getting ready for labour and baby’s passage down the birth canal.
⦁ Mucous plug (bloody ‘show’) – During pregnancy the cervix produces a thick mucous substance as a uterine seal. Towards the end of pregnancy the cervix starts to thin and soften, sometimes releasing the mucous substance. This ‘show’ can occur at any time during labour. It may also occur a week or two before going into labour.
⦁ Diarrhoea – this is a common sign of pre-labour. This is nature’s way of making sure there is a nice empty bowel once labour is established. Women need reassurance that this is a ‘good thing’!
⦁ The baby becomes quiet. A woman will notice less movement, but should still be getting at least 10 movements per day.
⦁ NESTING – this can be one of the best signs that labour is about to start. Women can suddenly have lots of energy and be obsessive about cleaning, re-organising furniture, preparing for the baby, cooking (freezing lots of meals for ‘after’). They are also very anxious about where their partner is, and need to be reassured that he is easily contactable.
⦁ Inward and focussed attention where a woman wants to spend more time alone and is calm and silent.