Preparing For Delivery (How the Body Prepares Itself)
As you get closer and closer to your estimated due date, your body goes through many changes as it prepares itself for labor and delivery. You might notice symptoms like:
- Weight gain. You’ll probably gain, on average, one pound each week during your third trimester.
- Shortness of breath. Your baby is growing quickly, putting pressure on your lungs.
- Frequent urination. Again, as baby grows, you’ll notice increased pressure on your bladder (which may even cause leaks!)
- Trouble sleeping. As your belly grows larger, it will become more and more difficult to get comfortable.
- Fatigue. Besides the lack of sleep, it’s hard work growing a baby! Much of your energy and nutrients go toward your little one.
- Lightening. If your baby has been riding up near your rib cage, and suddenly drops low into your pelvis, it’s a sure sign that baby will be here in a few weeks.
- “False labor.” You’ll probably start to notice painless Braxton-Hicks contractions. You can think of these as practice contractions, which start the process of softening and thinning the cervix to prepare for delivery.
- Mucus plug. As your cervix dilates, you might notice an increase in the amount of mucus when you wipe after using the bathroom. The mucus plug has kept your cervical canal sealed during pregnancy, but it can come out all at once, or a little at a time over several days.
- Bloody show. You may see some pinkish or even red bloody mucus as your cervix softens.
- Nesting. Just a day or two before labor begins, you might suddenly have a burst of energy. Some women feel the need to busy themselves with cleaning or getting other things in order before the arrival of their little one.
Virtual Maternity Class
- To learn more about pregnancy, register for our free Understanding Birth interactive course.