Experiencing childbirth is a magical experience. But when you’re pregnant, it’s only natural to have questions regarding the pregnancy itself and the delivery, especially if it’s your first baby. A common question many women have is whether they are ‘gassy before labor’ more than they would normally be and whether it means something. This is what we will look into right now.
The natural birthing process that takes place in your body is known as labor. It begins with the first real contractions and continues through the delivery of the baby as well as the placenta. Intense and regular contractions, pain in your tummy and back muscles, a bloody mucus discharge, or your water breaking are all signs that you’re going into active labor.
Higher levels of progesterone when the mother is 38 weeks into pregnancy are one of the major contributing causes to more gas in pregnancy. The body’s muscles become relaxed as a result of progesterone. This causes the gut muscles to relax even more, causing digestion and the metabolism to slow down.
The delay time through the gut can be extended by up to 30%, which permits gas to accumulate easily, resulting in various digestive system issues. One of the most common signs that your labor is near is extreme tiredness, and you may notice that you are significantly more fatigued than normal. This may sometimes be followed by extreme diarrhea or sharp pelvis pain, both of which also point to the possibility that you are about to go into labor.
Pregnancy and childbirth are complicated processes. While there are some evident early signs that labor is near, there are also some not-so-evident ones that might indicate labor is approaching. Learning about these signs can help you prepare for your due date and even a hospital stay.
Signs That Labor is near
Some women exhibit obvious signs of labor, and some don’t. Nobody knows what prompts labor to begin or exactly when it will begin, but various hormonal and physical symptoms assist in announcing when labor starts.
24 Hours before Labor
Lightening during labor
Lightening refers to the phenomenon of your baby descending or dropping into your pelvis right before childbirth. It’s also known as the baby “dropping.” Lightening can strike several weeks or just a few hours before delivery. The bladder faces more pressure after lightening, and women can feel the urge to pee more frequently.
Lightening can be one of the first signs to occur as labor approaches or could happen weeks before labor.
The water breaking, or more particularly, the bursting of the amniotic sac having amniotic fluid, is one evident symptom that real labor is beginning. This fluid-filled sac shields the baby as it develops, but it will burst either spontaneously or surgically in order to prepare for birth. If the water breaks spontaneously, it’s most likely caused by growing pressure on the amniotic sac by the baby’s head.
Some women have a rush of water, but it’s not always the same way as it appears on television. Some women merely detect a drip of water or a moist feeling in their undergarments.
Loss of the plug
The cervix’s entrance is sealed by the mucus plug, which is a large mass of mucus. This prevents germs from invading the uterus, but as birth approaches, this plug relaxes and falls out. Sometimes women leave a blob of mucus inside the toilet when they use the restroom, while others discover mucus on their underpants as vaginal discharge.
The mucus color ranges from clear to pink, and it may contain blood traces. This is natural and is referred to as the “bloody show.” Your body starts preparing for delivery by losing the mucus plug. In some cases, this can happen months before the actual delivery, but it usually happens a few days or hours before the actual birth.
As a pregnant woman, you may not expect to lose weight until after your baby is born. However, it’s not unusual to lose 1 to 3 pounds 1 to 2 days before giving birth.
But this isn’t fat removal. Actually, your body is losing water weight. This can occur as a result of decreased amniotic fluid near the end of the pregnancy as well as increased urine when your “baby drops” in preparations for delivery. The growing baby shifts to a lower point and places more pressure on your bladder, necessitating more frequent visits to the washroom.
The tightening of the uterine walls is referred to as a contraction. The stomach hardens throughout true contractions. The uterus softens and the abdomen relaxes between contractions. Every woman’s experience with labor pain is unique, and it can change when you get pregnant again.
Labor contractions often bring contraction pain or dull aching in your spine and lower belly, as well as pelvic pressure. Contractions are described by some women as severe menstrual cramps. True labor contractions, unlike fake labor contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions, don’t cease when you shift positions or relax. Although contractions feel painful, you will be able to rest in between.
Braxton hicks contractions
While pregnant, Braxton Hicks contractions might be confused for a false alarm of actual labor contractions. Braxton Hicks, unlike actual labor, is irregular in occurrence, less painful, and normally disappears when you shift positions. They are your body’s method of preparing for the impending arrival of the baby, but they don’t guarantee that labor will occur. These inconsistent uterine contractions are quite typical and may occur as early as the second or third trimester.
Some women experience a strong desire to prepare for the birth of their baby. This is referred to as the nesting instinct.
You may begin cleaning, arranging, and decorating the nursery to ensure that everything is exactly right. However, approximately 24 to 48 hours before birth, your body may go into a state of panic, resulting in a rush of energy and an increased need to tidy and arrange.
Some expectant moms worry about their hospital bags, reorganizing their nursery, or swear to clean all traces of dirt from their house.
You can have increased stress, mood changes, crankiness, or overall irritability during the day or two before going into labor. It might also seem like excessive nesting. These are all possible early symptoms of labor; your entire body is preparing for the big event.
Many women say that they have mood changes before giving birth. If you’re feeling irritated, have a headache, or are exhausted more than normal, rest and take it slow because this might be a symptom of impending labor.
Traces of Blood
When a small bit of mucus and blood is discharged from the vagina, this is known as a bloody show. It indicates that the mucus plug has softened or is already broken.
The cervix is coated by a thick block of mucus during pregnancy, which helps protect the infant. Your birth canal is physically “plugged” with mucus. This keeps germs and other causes of illness from passing through the cervical barrier.
As your pregnancy progresses, your cervix gradually dilates to allow the baby to come out. The mucus plug is expelled once the cervix dilates. You may completely lose your mucus plug. It can also be lost as a slow trickle. You may not realize if this is the case. The mucus plug can also contribute to increased discharge in early labor.
How might a bloody show look?
A bloody show is different for all women. The blood might be red, brown, or pink, and it may contain the entirety or a portion of the mucus plug. It will have a stringy, jelly-like feel. Certain bloody shows are far more mucus-like, containing blood trails. Some women completely lose the mucus plug.
It might also be prompted by:
- Sexual activity: In the latter weeks, the cervix stretches and dilates. Sex can cause the mucous plug to be released or minor bleeding.
- Membrane sweeping: While assessing your cervix with dilation, the healthcare professional may sweep the membranes of the birth canal. The ob-gyn will remove the baby’s water bag (amniotic sac) using gloved fingers. This is supposed to induce labor. However, it may result in some bleeding.
- Trauma: A stumble or a vehicle accident may trigger your body to enter labor or bleed. If you have suffered any trauma, contact your medical professional or visit a hospital to be checked.
To be safe, women who observe vaginal bleeding must consult their ob-gyn or doctor. Bleeding throughout pregnancy is common, but it may also be an indication of a far more problematic condition.
Can Gas Cause Contractions?
Stomach troubles are frequent when pregnant, especially during the third trimester. Many women endure gas, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems as their baby develops and starts to strain their abdomen.
While this is normal, gas can rarely cause contraction since contractions can’t be induced by something like bloating or gas, but sometimes the two may be confused with each other.
How to Tell the Difference between the Two?
While the discomfort of early labor contractions might be mistaken for gas pain, there are numerous important differences.
The pattern in labor pains
Contractions happen in waves; they start slowly as mild contractions before reaching a peak and then gradually becoming softer again, with regular intervals in between, whereas gas pain is more continuous.
So, get out the timer and see if the pain comes at periodic intervals. If not (and the discomfort is more consistent), it’s more likely that you’re experiencing gas pain.
The stomach is loose in gas pain.
Labor pains are caused by uterine muscle contractions. If your belly tightens and then softens when you’re experiencing pain, it’s most likely a contraction and not just gas. When you have gas pains, your stomach may feel bloated or heavy; however, your stomach will not undergo irregular contractions.
There’s more going on “down there.”
True labor contractions are frequently accompanied by a swarm of additional symptoms. If you have no other labor signs other than belly pain, you are most likely having gas pains and perhaps other issues of the digestive system.
What Triggers Labor
Labor can be triggered by a variety of factors, sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional.
Exercise could include any activity that raises the heart rate, like a lengthy stroll. Regardless of whether this technique works, it is an excellent way to release tension and prepare your body for delivery.
In theory, there are several reasons why having sex might cause labor. Furthermore, for pregnant women who have intercourse with males, prostaglandin hormones in sperm may help soften the cervix.
Stimulating the nipples might trigger your uterine to tighten, perhaps resulting in labor. Oxytocin release is stimulated by nipple stimulation. This hormone, oxytocin, stimulates the contraction of the uterus and the nipple to expel milk.
For instance, if you want to choose to nurse your baby immediately after birth, this same stimulation can help the uterus contract back to its previous size.
For centuries, people have practiced acupuncture. Acupuncture’s precise mechanism of action is unknown. It is thought in Chinese medicine to regulate the chi, or life – force, throughout the body. It may also cause changes in metabolism or the neurological system. Acupuncture should only be performed by a trained professional.
Relax and Keep Calm
Always remember that labor symptoms look different for every woman. Your signs of labor could be completely different from the ones mentioned, but that is nothing to worry about.
Childbirth is a miraculous and complex process that should not be rushed. Just remember to keep yourself calm throughout and relax as much as you can. Giving birth takes a lot of energy, and you will need time to heal. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and give yourself time to recover so you can become your best version, not only for your child but also for you.