Saturday, April 20, 2024

Signs Announcing Childbirth: Myths And Truths

Throughout the pregnancy, we imagine our baby… We dream of this first encounter! With the approach of D-Day, it is therefore not surprising that we are watching for any new sensation that might signify that childbirth is imminent.

No reference is made here to erasure or dilatation of the cervix or loss of the mucous plug. We are talking about these other signs, physical and physiological, that the majority of women claim to have felt in the days before the beginning of work.

We have listed for you the most frequently mentioned indicators and asked a nurse if they are reliable indicators.

Bowel Movements.

Hormones are responsible for many disruptions during pregnancy and they also have an important role to play in triggering work. It is the actions of prostaglandin, oxytocin, and azotic oxide that are responsible for the softening of the cervix… and other muscle fibers, including the intestine.

Just before the onset of contractions, it is not abnormal to notice changes in the stool (increase in frequency and change inconsistency). “Unfortunately,” says Marie-Josée Tremblay, a nurse at the Chicoutimi Birth Centre, ” this is not an imminent sign of childbirth. It is easy, at the end of pregnancy, to interpret several normal physical changes and to give them a meaning that goes in the direction of our expectations”.


Expectant mothers often associate insomnia with the onset of contractions. “It is normal at the end of pregnancy to have disturbed sleep. But we can’t make a direct link between imminent childbirth and insomnia. »

It should be remembered that at the end of pregnancy, many factors such as anxiety and back pain (to take only these as examples) can influence the quality and quantity of sleep. “The important thing is to rest as much as possible and take advantage of it to organize baby drawers quietly,” advises the specialist.

Baby Comes Down.

To be born, the baby must go down into the pelvis. Assisted by contractions, he will accomplish this feat in only a few hours (and in some cases, between 30 and 40 minutes). “The baby’s descent into the pelvis is undeniably a sign of imminent childbirth,” says Tremblay. However, what women talk about is the feeling of pressure exerted on the pelvic floor, which can occur at the end of pregnancy.”

In most cases, this pain is caused by a diastasis of the pelvic symphysis (in other words, the ligaments that have become soft) and unfortunately, this does not indicate that the birth will start soon.

Nesting Instinct.

Many moms say that at the approach of delivery, they are marked by a household frenzy, an irresistible urge to tidy, order, clean. This phenomenon would be instinctive, like the mom’s birds that make their nest just before laying … at least, that’s what our grandmothers tell! But this “is a myth,” says Ms. Tremblay.

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Weight Loss

In the list of clues announcing the big day, we find the weight loss. Indeed, the rumor is that we lose a few pounds in the week before delivery. Once again, the big culprits of this phenomenon would be hormones. However, when we discuss this topic with our nurse, she seems perplexed: “I have never heard of such a thing! She exclaims.

We can, therefore, deduce that weight loss is not a reliable sign.

Vaginal Discharge.

“A few days or weeks before the start of work, women will have what appears to be thicker vaginal discharges,” says the nurse. She says: “In fact, it is not vaginal discharge like the others: it is the mucus plug that goes away and it does not necessarily happen at once. ”

If some women give birth in the days following the loss of the famous mucus plug, others will have to wait weeks before this happens.


When you ask Mrs. Tremblay if being suddenly more sensitive is a precursor to working, you can feel the smile in her voice. “No, it’s not a sign as such,” she says. In recent weeks, women can be more emotional for all sorts of factors: fatigue, hormones, anxiety … There are several reasons for this greater sensitivity. ”

Several reasons … but not the fact that childbirth is approaching, it seems!

Back Pain.

Childbirth Back pain, during pregnancy and especially towards the end, is the prerogative of almost all women. “Close to the end, expectant mothers experience lower back pain,” says Tremblay. However, these pains are attributable to the ligaments of the lower abdomen which, under the effect of hormones soften and that either, it does not necessarily announce the beginning of work.

At the end of the interview, Mrs. Tremblay would like to point out that the “real sign that gives birth is very soon is the beginning of contractions”. All other discomforts and symptoms, with the possible exception of the loss of mucus plug, maybe the result of a host of factors unrelated to the onset of labor. Even if it seems impossible to anticipate the beginning of the work, it is better to take his trouble and let nature surprise us.

true And False Contractions.

It is necessary to be able to differentiate the different contractions during this period. That is to say, we must recognize the falsework of true work.


it is an episode of contractions that can last 2 or 3 hours and that is quite painful, but it does not persist. The contractions are painful and regular as during work, but they have no effect on the dilatation of the cervix. It means that the collar is mature quietly. It softens and shortens but does not open.

The real work begins with the pre-work, which corresponds to the preparation of the collar to the active opening: it will shorten, Center, soften and open by 1 or 2 centimeters.

The contractions are still irregular and quite spaced. There are approximately ten minutes between each of them. They may even stop a few hours before resuming. When they are very regular and painful, the work begins. The cervix then expands regularly and effectively.

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