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When Labor Starts


Some doctors will try to estimate when labor will occur. This can be based on the dilation, the due date or it may just be a guess based on previous pregnancies. But, if you press them, they will usually acknowledge that labor just can?t be medically predicted with any accuracy. But, there are a lot of symptoms that I noticed right before labor that occurred every time. I?ve also talked to several women who said they experienced the same things shortly before going into labor.

The night before going into labor with my first two, I stayed up much of the night- cleaning the bathroom. Yes, scrubbing it, polishing it, and generally obsessing about the state of the bathroom. Like clockwork both times I went into labor the following day. This final rush of the nesting instinct has been a signal of labor for centuries, with many an old wives tale revolving around it. My doula told me she spent the night before her first labor putting up a wallpaper border. She was obsessed with the border and refused to go to bed until the nursery was just right.

Other women I?ve talked to cleaned the kitchen obsessively or even cleaned out their cars the day before labor. One friend sent her husband to the store to get a car seat despite his protests, though the baby wasn?t due for two months. She was insistent that they have it before the end of the day. She went into premature labor two days later.

In addition to the revved up nesting instinct is the clearing of the bowels. Yes, it?s not the most pleasant symptom, but I?ve found that it?s just as universal as nesting. It occurred during the very end of all my pregnancies and I?ve talked to a couple of other women who reported the same thing. I?ll spare you the details, but it is just what it sounds like. Bring a magazine.

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