Flu-Like Symptoms Before Labor – Is This Normal?

flu like symptoms before labor

Is your delivery date around the corner? Are you feeling symptoms like headache, high fever, body pain, and vomiting? There is nothing to worry about as these are not away from the norm.

The process of transitioning into labor can be tedious and overwhelming but fret not because we will guide you through this. We will be discussing all the common concerns and flu-like symptoms before labor, so once you finish reading this article, you will feel more confident and much more relaxed than before.

Before we go into the complex details, do understand that it is entirely normal to have flu-like symptoms before labor. These may include a runny nose, flu, slight cough, and sore throat. These subtle signs during your third trimester show that you are near your due date, and the baby might be popping out anytime soon.

Many women feel sick a week before labor starts. Some of them even get nausea or diarrhea. These symptoms happen as a way of showing that your body may be going through some hormonal changes. Let’s discuss in detail the symptoms that may appear a month before labor.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Impending Labor?

There are quite a few signs of labor you will experience as your body prepares for the baby’s arrival. The signs of labor begin a few weeks before the actual delivery. These occur from mild to increasing intensity.

The flu-like symptoms will transform into strong pain at the end of your pregnancy. Stay put and don’t lose your resolve because this also means you are near to giving birth to your baby and finally holding him. So, let’s discuss various signs and symptoms before labor starts.

  1. Mild Signs

The first sign will be getting frequent backache. It is a very common sign as this happens because the baby’s head gets in your cervix, and the baby drops. The head of the baby adds pressure on the back and the ache worsens with time.

These signs will include flu-like symptoms before labor. The beginning of flu season means the baby may be a week or two away. These flu symptoms include a runny nose, headache, slight cough, and sore throat. These signs also include vomiting, fever, and exhaustion.

Another sign is getting diarrhea or a change in your bowel movements. Nearing your due date, the body prepares for the baby’s path, which means clearing your stomach.

Your pregnancy hormone ‘relaxin’ is released during this time, which signals all the muscles and ligaments in the body to loosen up. This signal is received by the rectum muscle, too, and it relaxes as well. The loosened muscle causes loose stools to pass out of the body.

Another reason is that the baby has now settled in the lower abdomen, face down. The baby’s head constantly puts pressure on your uterine layer and causes continuous bathroom visits. Getting diarrhea before labor is another sign that the baby is near.

  1. Initial Stages

These signals may occur a few days before the actual labor starts or on the day of it. These signs consist of the ones listed below.

Your mucus plug gets dislodged as your body expands to welcome the baby into the world. The loss of plug means the barrier is set off, but the baby might not be arriving for a few more weeks, so you cannot pinpoint exactly when this thing will happen over the course of time.

It is advised that you keep a check for the plug. It may appear as a smear or a blob, as once the plug dislocates, it means your baby is no more secure from any infections. Once that happens, there would be a flow of bloody discharge, also known as the ‘bloody show’.

Getting a bloody show means that when your mucus plug dislocates, your veins in the cervix break and the barrier discharges with blood. If the blood is pink or brown, then it’s an indication of healthy early labor. Though if you experience heavy vaginal bleeding, you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible.

The next important sign is when your water breaks. The baby resides comfortably in a fluid called amniotic fluid, contained in the amniotic sac. The bag of amniotic fluid breaks when the baby is ready to come out. There is a higher risk of getting an infection, so you need to be extremely careful. 

The process of water breaking is relatively small and not as big of a deal as it is portrayed on television. It may flow out in small spots only or all at once, more like flooding. Keep in check that the water isn’t green in color, indicating that the baby has pooped. There is a chance that the newborn might consume it during delivery. If this happens, you have to rush to your nearest hospital and get properly checked.

During the middle phase of labor, light contractions start in pregnant women to indicate the pregnancy may be coming to an end anytime soon. These are known as Braxton hicks contractions, this means that the body is giving false alarms to prepare for the birth of a child. These are also labeled as practice contractions, so the mother’s body gets accustomed to the process of labor.

Final Symptoms

The final symptoms just before labor include getting very strong contractions with less time apart between them. Once these begin, it is time to pick up your packed bag and run to the hospital.

How Do You Feel A Few Days Before Labor?

Are you pregnant with your first child? Are you getting anxious before the infant arrives? Relax, it is normal for first-time moms to feel this way. Every woman goes through body aches before giving birth, so it is quite normal to feel sick and nauseated. We have listed below all the possible symptoms you may feel before labor.

  • Severe backaches: This will begin a few days before your delivery date as the infant drops to your cervix. This process is called ‘lightening.’
  • Strong nesting instinct: You may get sudden bursts of energy right before the labor. Some women are urged to clean and scrape off any dirt; the others might obsess over the nursery or redecorating the house.
  • Strong and frequent contractions: You start experiencing light to the most substantial level of contractions. They keep coming over and then vanishing.
  • Diarrhea: The muscles in your loosen up, which can cause diarrhea. The uterus needs to contract and make a path for the child to come. This is the body’s way of preparing for the upcoming task of birthing the baby. 

In addition to this, the mother may also experience a loss of appetite. However, it varies from woman to woman. Some may feel sick more than others, but it all depends on your own immune system.

Do You Get Cold Before You Go Into Labor?

Yes, you may feel cold because you do get different flu-like symptoms before labor. These may include sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and body pain. However, these symptoms may differ for every mom-to-be as there is no hard and fast rule about labor.

Is it Normal to Be Sick Before Birth?

Is it Normal to Be Sick Before Birth

Yes. Every pregnant woman feels sick before giving birth to the infant. This happens if the mother has recently eaten something and the labor starts, and the digestion stops. This causes nausea and puking.

The body sends out signals for the muscles to relax, which causes the rectum to relax too. This causes diarrhea and the passing of loose stool.

What Causes Flu-Like Symptoms Before Labor?

Women go through flu-like symptoms right before their labor and this is a normal process. It happens primarily because of the extreme hormonal changes that the body is going through right before and during the process of labor. 

Some may experience severe symptoms, while others may go through very mild signs. These nausea-like symptoms happen due to two reasons mainly:

  1. During the third trimester, estrogen hormone increases in a woman’s body. These hormonal changes cause pregnant mothers to go through these symptoms.
  2. Another reason is that the endometrium, where the baby floats after fertilization, is actually our uterine layer thickens. Due to this layer’s thickening, hormonal changes occur in the woman’s body. These changes lead to flu-like symptoms in the women.

So, Here’s the Takeaway!

As you might have gathered by now, all pregnant women go through these flu-like symptoms just before the onset of labor as this is the body’s way of announcing the child’s arrival. 

However, the symptoms may differ for each pregnant lady, so do not worry if you experience some lesser or higher symptoms. Though, if you feel these symptoms more often than deemed normal or before your 37th week, then you need to consult a doctor.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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