It is the completion of the 9-month pregnancy period, and you know your delivery is anytime now. You look for signs and all of a sudden loose bowel movements start. Can this be early labor? Here is what you need to know about pre-labor diarrhea. Sit back and relax as you read!
Loose bowels indicate early labor but happen 24-48 hours before labor. Frequent bowel movements can cause uterine contractions, which can cause early labor. Therefore, if your stomach condition is out of control and your due date is just around the corner, prepare yourself for labor.
How Can I Tell If Labor Is Close? Signs
Signs of labor are usually common for a vast majority of women. Some women break water, while others just feel strong contractions. But these signs are far-flung and usually occur in the middle or by the end of labor. Early signs of labor are more complex than that, and women usually don’t take a hint from these very signs. Your most common hints that labor is approaching include the following:
These signs start with excessive diarrhea. Throughout pregnancy, most women encounter an upset tummy so often that when it occurs just before birth, they consider it normal. When, in fact, diarrhea is the beginning of labor. Prostaglandins are the hormones behind loose bowels, and they eliminate the bowels from the body to allow the uterus to contract.
If your diarrhea is accompanied by other labor symptoms don’t ignore your condition and call your doctor. You may not be so far along if diarrhea persists for more than 2 days. If your due date hasn’t come yet, you must consult with your doctor because diarrhea may cause dehydration, which can lead to other birth complications.
Water breaking is a clear signal of labor. But most women do not experience their water breaking. Studies show only about 10 percent of women do. While others have their water bags burst by the doctor.
Even after your water breaks, you have 48 hours until you actually give birth. But most women go into labor within the next 24 hours of breaking water. Where does this water come from? it is the amniotic fluid that is released as the mucus plug drops.
This fluid is rich in hormones that induce labor; therefore, once your water breaks, you are going to give birth soon.
Another common sign of impending labor is backache. Backache usually becomes very pronounced by the end of the pregnancy and makes the pregnant mom uncomfortable. The extra weight that the pregnant woman is carrying causes backache. However, you will see a sharp increase in backache once labor begins.
Usually, this pain lingers around your lower back and makes your contractions stronger. This pain occurs due to changes in your pelvis and the pressure that the baby is applying to drop out of you.
Losing Mucus Plug
Losing the mucus plug is also a symptom that clearly tells you that you are in labor. The mucus plug is the entrance to the uterus and keeps the fetus safe inside the uterus throughout the pregnancy. Once it comes out, you don’t need any more signs to confirm labor.
When you lose your mucus plug expect proper vaginal discharge. This is usually the amniotic fluid and blood that is pouring out from your uterus. Don’t panic; it is normal and means you are very close to giving birth.
Another strong sign of labor is labor contractions. The labor process is long and complex and happens step by step. False or Braxton Hicks contractions may occur around the end of pregnancy, but real contractions are really painful and you can’t do without professional medical advice once they start.
Contractions are irregular at first, but as time passes, they become regular and stronger. How can you tell if it is false labor or not? Real contractions are stronger in intensity and occur after regular intervals. You can time your contractions. They are usually two to three minutes apart depending on your condition.
Braxton Hicks contractions begin false labor and are one of the strong signs of labor. Even if you are not in active labor, this is how your labor starts; it is one of nature’s ways of telling you that your baby is coming. False alarms become very frequent once you are nearing your 34th week.
Morning sickness or nausea is common in early pregnancy; everyone knows that. But by the end of pregnancy, it signals that labor is approaching. Scientifically speaking, your body needs tons of energy during labor. If this energy is used by the digestive system, it is absent during labor. So to counter this, the digestive system gets hit and, therefore, diarrhea and vomiting become the norm.
Prostaglandins are also responsible for nausea like they are for an upset tummy. They work to achieve the same results of keeping your stomach empty either by increased bowel movements or vomiting. All this is nature’s way of allowing the uterus to work more efficiently until birth takes place.
Do Contractions Feel Like I Have To Poop?
Contractions in the most initial stages feel like period cramping. They may lead you to feel you have to poop, but overall they’re just an uncomfortable period pain-like feeling accompanied by backache and other period symptoms.
You may also feel anxious whenever trying to poop so as not to strain yourself to go into labor. Well, you don’t have to worry at all, as you don’t go into labor nor does it hurt the baby in any way. But you must remain vigilant and not develop hemorrhoids, as that can make you uncomfortable during delivery.
You feel like you have to poop when you are pushing. It is also common for women to poop while giving birth. But you don’t have to worry about that, as a lot of liquid comes out while giving birth, so it doesn’t matter whether you poop during that time.
Usually, your tummy is empty or emptied before the birth by doctors so that the baby has no problem while coming through the birth canal.
Can I Feel If I Dilate?
You can’t exactly feel when you are dilating, but other signs tell you if you are dilating. The first one is a lightning crotch. It is an immensely sharp, rising pain in your vagina. The sharp and shooting nature of this pain gives it the name lightning crotch. This is due to the pressure of your baby coming down towards the birth canal.
In the same way as labor signs, dilation signs also include loss of mucus plug, bleeding, cramping, and backaches. So you can consider cervix dilation the start of your labor.
What Is Considered Loose Stool?
Loose stools are characterized by increased bowel movements. They appear watery or mushy and occur more frequently during the day than normal bowel movements. Loose stools make your body lose water and dehydrate you. This is an extremely dangerous situation in the early stages of pregnancy, as loose stools induce labor.
But later on, when the due date is near, loose stools occur to signal the labor start. Other signs that labor has started include bleeding, pressure on the pelvis, and loss of mucus plug.
What Causes Loose Stool Before Labor?
Loose stools are your body’s way to get rid of all the excrement from the body so that the uterus can fully contract. It is done through a hormone called prostaglandins, which is released in the body before labor. This hormone increases bowel movement so that the uterus can come fully into the birthing zones, and the contractions become stronger.
How Do I Know It’s Time To Rush To The Hospital?
Pretty easy. When your contractions become regular and terribly painful, you would know it’s time. In addition, a clear indication of labor is when your water breaks. You will know it is trickling down your legs from your birth canal, and the contractions will become stronger after that.
Another important thing that often gets missed is the movement of the baby. While babies move a lot during pregnancy, you will feel reduced movements around labor.
In any case, your first call should be to your gynecologist. Explain your condition to him and he will know how long it will take for you to deliver the baby based on the symptoms.
Keep Calm and Get Ready!
Giving birth is a beautiful experience. Though it is painful and uncomfortable, it is the part of your pregnancy that makes you a mom. Pretty exciting right? So when diarrhea appears along with other symptoms, you shouldn’t panic. The other symptoms of labor that you should be ready for include water breaking, contractions, nausea, and extreme lower backache.
Remember these are only the initial signs of labor, and as it progresses you will face even more symptoms. But with each symptom, you will get one step closer to your baby.
Calmly rest and drink as much water as you can to replenish your body’s water content. You will need it. Once labor begins, you will know and be prepared for the next step toward becoming a mom. So don’t waste your energy panicking, just keep calm and prepare yourself mentally for labor.