When you're late in your last trimester, it is obvious to wait for a sign that your labor is imminent. There are some common signs, like noticing blood spots and feeling frequent contractions, but some women believe that diarrhea is also a sign of labor. So what's your answer to "Is diarrhea a sign of labor?" Should you really trust it as a good sign? Keep reading to learn more.
Is Diarrhea a Sign of Labor?
The answer to the question is a big "YES" actually. However, it is important to understand that diarrhea means you have more than three loose bowel movements within a 24-hour period. The good thing is that you shouldn't be worrying about anything when experiencing this situation. But if you also notice contractions or cramping with diarrhea, this usually means the labor is imminent.
What Causes Diarrhea Before Labor?
Is diarrhea a sign of labor? Yes, it is. Another question that comes with this one is, "What exactly causes this condition?" A simple explanation is that your muscles loosen up a bit to get ready for labor, and this includes the muscles that handle your bowl movements. During pregnancy, it is common for your digestive process to slow down a bit, which leads to constipation, but things changes more obviously when you're very close to giving birth. Some doctors also believe that diarrhea is your body's way to empty your bowels and make more room for your baby to move easily through the birth canal.
One possible but rare reason why you experience diarrhea before labor can bethat you're sensitive to certain foods. Even if you haven't been sensitive to food before pregnancy, this may happen during your pregnancy.
What You Can Do About Diarrhea Before Labor?
Now that you know the answer to the question, "Is diarrhea a sign of labor?" it is equally important to learn what you can do for this situation.
- For starters, stay hydrated and drink as much water as you can.
- Don't overeat. You will be better off eating meals light enough to maintain your strength. Toast with jam, chicken broth or a fruit pop will work great. Don't eat anything fatty, very fiber-filled and acidic.
- Relax and stay close to the bathroom.
When Should You Go to Hospital?
You should time your contractions when you feel you're in labor. The best thing is to write down the time when each contraction hits you and then stops. Note when your contraction starts and when it stops, and the time between contractions that include the length of the contraction as well as the minutes in between your contractions. Mild contractions are usually 20 minutes apart and last 60-90 seconds only, but they will become more regular once they are less than 5 minutes apart. Active labor will start when you experience strong contractions that last at least for 45 seconds and are 3-5 minutes apart. Then you must go to hospital.
6 More Early Signs of Labor
Diarrhea is definitely a sign of labor, but that's not the only sign. Here are some other signs you may notice when you're about to give birth.
1. Rupture of Membranes
The amniotic sac that surrounds the baby breaks at one point during pregnancy and amniotic fluid starts trickling from your vagina. Also called the "breaking of the waters", the rupture of membranes is usually the first sign of labor in about 25% of labors.
Regular contractions also indicate the labor is going to start. These contractions usually feel more like period pain – you will also experience a lower backache with regular intervals. The contractions will become stronger and reach a peak after which contractions will reduce again.
3. Braxton Hicks Contractions
These "practice" contractions are usually more intense and frequent when you're about to give birth. Some women don't feel any of these contractions during their pregnancy. If you're having labor contractions, they will become stronger and be close together. They will be more regular and don't usually stop.
4. Blood Show
Your cervix begins to dilate as your body gets ready for the labor. Sometimes, this makes the thick mucus plug to come loose and discharge from your vagina. It looks like jelly and has pink, brown or red tinge to it. You may go into your labor in the next few days after you notice the show.
You will feel light when your baby drops into your pelvis. It will be easier to breathe because there is no pressure on your diaphragm. However, you will feel more pressure on your bladder that means you will spend more time in the bathroom.
6. Involuntary Shivering
Shivering even when you're not feeling cold is another sign of early labor. You may experience the same feeling during or after birth, and it can be quite frightening. There's nothing to worry about because your body shivers to relieve tension. Simply take a warm shower and try deep breathing or get a massage to relax your nerves.