View Full Version : Pre-labour, what is it?
Hi there all...
I have heard that you can be in "pre-labour" for several weeks before going into true labour.....
Is this true? and if it is what are the symptoms.....?
I am almost 35 weeks pregnant and lately have been getting a series of all sorts of aches/pains and "feelings" like something is going on.....
I guess it could just be the "getting closer / heavier" etc etc thing but i did give birth to my first DS at 36 weeks
Does anyone know about this "pre-labour" thing i keep hearing about?
Samsmum04- Pre-labour is "false alarms". What happens is your body is getting prepared to give birth and makes you go through similar events as being in actual labour. You get similar signs such as strong braxton hicks, backache and all the other signs. How they know that its a false alarm is if you are not dilating and the contractions are not happening on regular intervals. Your body will go through this a couple weeks before and it can get very annoying. I had so many false alarms that i practically lived at the hospital!! :D I hope this helped answer your questions.
I was in pre-labour for 3 days leading up to HArry's birth. I was getting contractions, sometimes they were strong, sometimes not. If your contractions don't get closer together or stronger then you are probably in pre-labour.
Good luck for your upcoming birth.
Thanks guys, i guess its just waiting now until my body does what it does best :o
i've been having really strong Braxton for a few days now and also bad back ache, pressure in my pelvis etc etc....
does anyone know also how long before going into real labour you can have a show...?
and does my baby have to drop before i can go into real labour?
Samsmum04 - Usually you get a "show" when labour actually starts. To answer your other question, no the baby doesnt have to drop before labour, it can actually drop during labour. Its also more common to have the baby drop during labour with subsequent pg's.
Is this a second or subsequent pregnancy? If so, it's common for the baby to not engage (drop down into the pelvis ready for birthing) until you are actually labouring and preparing to give birth. In first pregnancies, it's common for baby to be engaged weeks before labour actually begins.
Pre-labour is all the slow (but essential) work your body does to prepare for the real thing. It can be frustrating whilst waiting for the main event to start; but if you look at it as a very important part of the labour process, it's easier to tolerate. Your body doesn't just suddenly launch into full-tilt-boogey childbirth; it spend days or weeks toning, practicing, and doing little test runs. It's normal to experience backache, pressure and/or ache in your pelvic region, frequent energetic bowel movements, irregular Braxton Hicks (sometimes these can really make you sit up and take notice and think "is this it?!") - and a general feeling of heightened awareness and expectation.
Often a show comes within 48 hours of established labour commencing; but it is also common for a show to appear and labour to not start for weeks afterwards. Every woman is different and unfortunately the only way to know which category you fall into is to witness it when it happens (and every birth is different too, so even if you have laboured before, this time around could be totally unique).
When you are in real labour, you will have no confusion about it! You're in real labour when your contractions are making you sit up and pay attention, are somewhat "regular" (although the textbooks that state they should be precisely 5 minutes apart, then 4, then 3 are piffle - you may labour with 5 minute contractions for half an hour, then they may space out to 20 minutes, then pick up to 3 minutes, then be all over the place; the important thing is that you have contractions fairly frequently), and you're having to focus, breath and work through them. Your waters may or may not break (it's actually very common for them to remain intact until very late in labour, or simply not rupture at all), you may or may not lose your mucous plug; you may or may not need to go to the toilet and poo, wee or vomit. You will definitely know you're in labour. Established labour is the steamroller to prelabour's tricycle. :p
It's difficult to do, as you are naturally impatient, excited, and anxious about your impending labour; but the best thing to do is get as much rest and relaxation as you can, and accept that your body will go into labour when it is ready and not before. Rest assured that babies do come out when they are ready, you will move past prelabour and onto established labour, and this will all soon be a distant fuzzy memory once more. :)
A bath with Clary Sage Oil may help encourage your body in it's important preparatory work, and assist in relaxing you. Some heat packs applied to your back and pelvic areas should help with the aches.
Very best wishes for a beautiful birth. :)
Thanks again to all especially DoulaFelicity :) for all that info.
It is my second pregnancy so i am sure i will know when the real thing starts just curious as to how long i may be expected to experience what i am now....
hopefully not too much longer as i want my bubba :o
well, heres hoping for a show then 30 mins later waters breaking, then 1 hour later contractions starting and then around 5 hours later bubba arriving (this was my first birth experience and it wasnt all that bad :p )
Not long to go now Tracey. How exciting. Please don't have bubba tomorrow at Chaddy though. I don't think the staff at the David Jones cafe could handle all the excitement!
Looking forward to catching up.
LOL !! good point Cathy i'll make sure i cross my legs :p
Look forward to seeing you there
thanks for starting the Thread Samsmum!!!!
I have just a clarifying question.. I am almost 37 weeks pregnant (and starting to get butterflies!!!! a mixture of excitement and fear!!!:D) but I am still carrying very high... my OB comments everytime I go ... that a) its a big baby and that b) he/she is still high.. this is my first bubs... shouldn't he/she be moving south by now????
Good luck with your first bubba....
I am a person who carries high.... this is why i asked about the "dropping" too.
With my first i went into labour at 36 weeks and i have no memory of dropping previous to this, so perhaps you can go into labour, be it first time or subsequent times, without first dropping....
again good luck :)
I am over 37 weeks pregnant and I have been getting pre-labour symptoms. I am having Braxton Hicks with occasional period like pains but this is only happening a couple times a day, so I know it is not the real thing. I am also carrying high so I know it will probably won't be this week that I will go into labour.
Mother of Christopher, Luke, Melissa, Jayden and baby girl due on the 8th November
There are no "shoulds" in pregnancy and birth. :) Rest assured that many babies don't engage until labour begins, whether they are first or subsequent babies. This in itself isn't a problem, particularly not with 3 weeks left! (It's pretty common for bubs to engage in the last week or so, too.)
In terms of your Ob telling you that your baby is big...remember, this is always a guesstimation at best. Even ultrasounds have a 2lb margin of error in size estimations. The only way to truly know what size that bub you're carrying is, is to be holding it in your arms and looking at it once it's been born. ;) Besides which, 99.99999999% of women's bodies are made perfectly to birth their baby at the size it is when it decides to be born.
Everything sounds fine. :)
Best wishes for a beautiful birth.
I know i am kind of repeating myself but for the past few days i have been having serious cramping pain accross my abdomen and lower back and into my pelvis and also my upper thighs hurt.... on Sunday they were coming every 15 - 20 mins and didnt settle when i lay down....now they are still coming but not quite as regular...
I am only just 35 weeks should i be worried???
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