When Will I Go Into Labor Quiz: The signs of labor to watch for

This is the when will I go into labor quiz. It’s going to tell you signs of labor, predictors, possibilities of preterm labor, and early labor signs from a labor and delivery RN.  While this isn’t a crystal ball, it will give you some ideas as to what to watch for as you slowly move closer to having your baby.

Hi, I’m Hilary — many people know me as The Pregnancy Nurse ????‍⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind this website Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. ????​ I’ve literally helped TENS OF THOUSANDS of couples decide if they are in labor, so you’re in the right spot to get educated about your upcoming birth.

Come join me in my FREE beginning prenatal class, so I can help you get started preparing for your birth:

free prenatal class -- click here

If you’re more of a listener, I actually talk about this on the Pulling Curls Podcast — Episode 10 on When Will I Go Into Labor — you can listen to it right here (that pink triangle plays it):

As a reminder, all the information here at Pulling Curls is not tailored to you and your situation.  Please be sure to take the advice of your doctor over the advice you read here.  For instance, if you have a long drive, or you’ve had previous quick deliveries, your answers might be different.

When Will I Go Into Labor Quiz

Want to know more about the answers to this quiz (and why I asked specific questions) — be sure to read on for more about going into labor and what to expect.

And now {drum-roll please} — take this quiz (it may take a second for it to load — it’s worth the wait.):

Once you answer them all, click submit — and then see your score.  You’ll see your score as well as what you should be watching for!

There are 58 points possible — so, the higher you are — the more likely you are to either be IN labor, or to be headed there soon.  Of course, it can change quickly — at any minute your water could break (which adds 30 points to your total). ????

Ok, you’ve taken the quiz. Unless your water is already broken you really DO have time to take a prenatal class. Long gone are the 8 hour Saturday classes you need to schedule months in advance. TODAY is the day you get prepared. This Online Prenatal Class for Couples can get you both prepared in just 3 hours time. Watch it all at once, or tiny bites every day to have the birth you’re hoping for! It literally GUARANTEES you feeling less anxiety about delivery day!

If you ARE headed into the hospital, do NOT miss my what to bring to the hospital post! SO helpful for pregnant women:

  1. You don’t want to look like simba….
  2. The #1 thing people not regretting is this thing
  3. Moist.  The keyword is moist — this is the MOST asked for product from hospital bags!

When will I go into labor?

I hate to say it guys — but I seriously have no clue. Not a one. The biggest guest is when your due date is!

With all the technology out there, we really just have no idea — and I get that totally stinks!

I’ve so been there.  My mom wondered when to book her plane ticket.  I mean “it’s my job” to know when ladies will go into labor.  Turns out, it’s not. ????  I think only mother nature knows that one. ????

Pro Tip: Spicy food is not the way to go into labor (hello heartburn). While you might be in PAIN it won’t bring on labor starts or regular contractions. There’s a lot of old wives’ tales like that.

Extra Pro Tip: Sexual intercourse (especially with female orgasm) CAN be a way to speed up labor (but will likely only do it if you’re very close to going into labor on your own).

Am I in labor?

A lot of you might be wondering “how do I know if I’m in labor” —  don’t forget I have a whole page called Am I In Labor that goes into all of this a whole lot more.  Be sure to check it out!

I will say that one of the HARDEST things about labor is knowing WHEN you’re ready to go to the hospital. I have surefire technique, that when followed will get you to the hospital in time — not too early, and not too late. I share it all in my Online Prenatal Class!

Will My Baby Come Early?

Keep in mind this post & quiz is really a labor prediction quiz for the third trimester.  You really want to be past 36 weeks before you even start to think about going into labor! Call your health care provider if you’re before 36 weeks and having labor signs!

What is “labor”?

Labor is considered when there is cervical dilation — I have a whole post on vaginal exams, and a video here:

Often, true labor contractions come with some “bloody show” that can be disconcerting — but it’s just your cervix opening and some of those tissues being stretched or releasing old blood. If you see a lot of bright red blood I’d call your provider though.

Signs of Labor Approaching

It has LOTS of different signs — I have a full post of the signs of labor approaching, that I think you’ll really like!

The CRAZY thing is that uterine contractions aren’t always a sign that labor is coming. They could just be Braxton Hicks contractions which aren’t progressing your baby’s head into the birth canal at all. That’s considered false labor. Once you’re in active labor, the baby will be making progress OUT of your body!

That doesn’t mean those don’t hurt (although they will progress and get more painful). If you’re looking for pain relief try a warm shower, a warm bath or a heating pad << check out that article to do it safely). Often these contractions bring a lot of lower back pain. Which can be super annoying. The “real thing” will be more intense and likely involve your entire torso area — that’s a good idea to know if they’re true labor contractions.

But, in short — you’ll want to look for these as a sign of labor:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea (or stomach upset)
  • Generalized not feeling well (a lot of people find this helps them relax)
  • Losing your mucus plug (this can be a VERY early labor sign, often says it will happen in the next few days/weeks).
  • Aching (you can still take this, or I used one of these)
  • Menstrual cramps (often in your back, sometimes a heating pad helps)
  • Small amounts of bleeding (we call it bloody show)
  • Some women get a sudden burst of energy to get a lot done with their nesting instinct before labor.

Those are just SOME of the early signs of woman’s labor. Be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider about what YOU should be watching for. Many people find a prenatal class to be super helpful (especially if you can watch and re-watch it once things are “happening). On your first pregnancy it can be REALLY hard to figure out (sometimes on other pregnancies as well).

Pro Tip: Some of these could be a sign of labor, or just generalized crappy-ness as you get to the end of pregnancy, so you want to watch for the “full picture”. Be sure to talk with your doctor or midwife about what to expect for you!

As always, these signs are OK as you get towards the end of your pregnancy, but if you’re seeing them earlier you’ll want to call your provider. Preterm birth is not something to mess around with. Premature labor can often be stopped so call your provider (or go into the hospital if you can’t get hold of them).

Another “sure” sign is your water breaking — although, even IT can be confusing! Once your water breaks (and you know it’s amniotic fluid) you will likely need to deliver in the next day or so. Once that happens, the amniotic sac is open to any bacteria, which gives you a higher risk of infection. Often, in the hospital we start the beginning of labor as when your bag of fluid ruptures (but not always). Sometimes that big gush of fluid is really pee (and it can be really hard to tell).

Importance of Drinking Water

Some of you might have taken that quiz, and wondered why water was so important!

Sometimes, when you get dehydrated (or don’t drink enough water) your uterus gets mad and will contract for no particular reason.

Which means you can hurt a lot and feel fairly miserable, but it’s not making your baby come out. So, drink water!

What to do if you’re not in labor yet?

There are a few things I’d recommend doing:

I have a whole post and podcast on things to do before going to the hospital that goes into more detail on those things!

FAQ’s about When Will I Go Into Labor

Is there a test for it

There really is not test as to WHEN you will go into labor.  Cervical dilation won’t even give you too much info.  There is a test that tells if you’re in preterm labor, but it doesn’t predict anything in the future We do have a test to see if your water broke.

When will I go after losing mucus plug?

I have a whole post about mucus plugs — but it mostly means you’ll have your baby in the next month.  Cheers! Changes in vaginal discharge in general are really normal towards the end of pregnancy

When can I go into labor?

Normally, we don’t stop anyone’s labor after 34 weeks of pregnancy but some doctors will try up til’ 36 weeks lately.  I do recommend trying to go full term though.

Can I have it without contractions?

Your cervix can dilate to a point without labor pain contractions that are rhythmic in nature.  However, you will need to have contractions to get past that point (usually 4 cm, but I have seen some not contracting at 6 cm).

Can I if baby hasn’t dropped?

Yup.  Some babies drop right at the end.

Can I go into labor at 1 cm dilated

Yes, everyone starts at someplace.  You can start labor at 1 cm but that would still be considered early labor up until 6 cm or so (it used to be 4 cm).

How soon after stripping membranes?

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  Usually it takes a few hours for contractions to get going though.

How do I know if they’re “real contractions”?

Real labor contractions are really only known to be so in hindsight. The contractions will get more painful, stronger, and closer together until you’re like — ahh… this is it — it’s the “real thing”. It’s a frustrating, confusing process, my friend (even for labor nurses).

I heard you might have some weight loss before labor

That is true! I answer it in my post on do you lose weight before labor? It can happen before your big day (but not always).

How long should my contractions last?

Contractions are one of the most well-known symptoms of labor. In general we want to see them last 45 seconds to a minute if you’re in “labor” but be sure to talk with your provider about what to expect for YOU

Ok, I wasn’t kidding about the prenatal class. If you don’t think mine’s a good fit — consider some of the other best childbirth classes out there. And, if money’s stopping you — use coupon code SAVE10 to get an extra 10% off your class:

Or, if you’re not quite ready for the full class, check out my free prenatal class — It’s your first step towards being your own birth boss.

Originally Posted Here

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