1. As your body releases hormones necessary for labor, they affect not only the muscles in your uterus and cervix but also loosens the muscles in your bowels causing loose stools.
2. Nesting (a burst of energy near the end of pregnancy inspiring the mother-to-be to clean and organize) is a common sign of impending labor and women often feel physically restless.
3. Contractions are rhythmic, and are usually felt in the stomach but can be felt in the back or thighs.
4. Menstrual cramps as opposed to a tightening feeling in the abdomen, usually indicates the contractions that will change the cervix.
5. Bloody mucous is a sign of the cervix opening and is usually mucous mixed with bright red blood.
6. Contractions may be felt from 37 weeks + without concern of preterm labor from the provider. These contractions increase in time and intensity as active labor nears.
7. Water can be a gush or a trickle but either way this is a sure start of labor.
8. Nausea is common in the first trimester and women usually experience relief at the start of the second trimester. It can return as labor begins, during active labor and during pushing.
9. Cervical dilation is the definition of labor.
10.The cervix which is normally thick, must thin before it can completely dilate.