Signs Labor Is 24-48 Hours Away

Signs Labor Is 24-48 Hours Away

Are there any lucid signs labor is 24-48 hours away?

The journey of pregnancy is definitely a beautiful one. Nine months of pure joy, cravings or aversions to certain foods, mood swings, and in general, many changes.

Besides the plethora of calls from well-meaning loved ones inquiring if you are still pregnant, time can become relentless.

This experience may feel differently for different people, but the emotions felt are almost the same.

With every change deemed like a labor sign, it can be pretty overwhelming.

You are likely to feel excited, nervous, fatigued, and exhausted all the same while in your pregnancy.

Also, it’s worth mentioning, as I have explained in detail later in the post, that labor differs for every woman.

So what a particular woman might experience in the final hours of pregnancy might not be the same as other women encountered even if they share the same family lineage.

Although it’s almost impractical to predict the exact time labor will kick in, you will realize it whenever the countdown of your baby’s birth begins. 

So, what are the signs labor is 24-48 hours away?

Signs Labor Is 24-48 Hours Away

As already outlined, there isn’t any hard rule with signs labor is 24-48 hours away. 

This article is put together based on research and studies on different signs experienced by people when labor is about to happen.

Most noticed signs include diarrhea, low back pain, and loss of weight. And as expected, your water breaking.

On the other hand, some women don’t have any clue labor is coming.

Water breaking is one of the most common signs that pregnant women experience. One would immediately know when their water breaks.

It is absolutely right to believe that the experience of labor is different for all women.

For first-time mothers, it’s reasonable to be hypervigilant for these early signs labor is 24-48 hours away. Still, it might be frustrating.

What you may be experiencing in the final hours of pregnancy may well be the opposite to others.

Although it will be hard to tell or predict what hour of which day you will go into labor, you can definitely watch out for signs to tell your delivery is here. 

There are noticeable signs that you can’t easily notice; such signs include aggression, stress, and nervousness, which one might generally feel during their pregnancy phase. 

Not to mention the frequency and intensity of contractions ascertains whether one is in labor. Still, watch out for the following physical indicators.

However, when the delivery is near, you will be able to tell, and especially if you have read up beforehand, it won’t be a deal.

Additionally, some signs of labor are very subtle.

These signs will only help you to become alert about what is to follow and make you prepared. 

1. Water Breaking 

Signs Labor Is 24-48 Hours Away

The first, foremost, and obvious sign is water breaking. What happens, in this case, is your amniotic sac is ruptured.

For most women,70%-90%, when their water broke, they went into labor within the next 48 hours- most within 24 hours.

Primarily, the amniotic sac is the fluid-filled sac that protects the baby inside the womb as its body develops. 

But when the sac is ruptured, it doesn’t matter naturally or artificially, and it means it’s time for labor; there is increased pressure from the baby’s head on your sac. 

The amniotic fluid is full of hormones that trigger labor to start.

Contrary to what the media and television depict, you don’t need to experience a gush of water, and you might even just feel a trickle of water or little wetness in your underwear that will tell your water broke. 

Related Post: What to Wear Postpartum?

2. Nesting 

The cause of Nesting is mostly related to hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy.

You might completely switch to a different personality in this phase.

It is a natural instinct that is denoted by a solid drive to prepare your unborn baby’s living space. 

You might come across as hyper in all your actions and responses, and it’s nothing to worry about.

Most women channel this energy by making elaborate cleaning and organizing plans, making decisions to limit social gatherings, and so on. 

All your actions are only inclined in your baby’s interest. The nesting nature stems from a genuine place of concern for the baby. 

3. Weight Loss

Signs Labor Is 24-48 Hours Away

It’s not uncommon to see a pregnant person losing weight. One loses about one to three pounds of weight always right before going into labor. 

We don’t call it loss of fat, and it is, in fact, our body shedding excess water.

It happens when amniotic fluid reduces in size toward the end of pregnancy and urination increases. 

When the baby moves to a lower position, it adds pressure on your bladder, which leads to the frequent urge to pee.

This whole process leads to massive weight loss, which is natural during childbirth. 

4. Losing Your Mucus Plug

Yet, another clear signs labor is 24-48 hours away.

If you take notice of a change of your vaginal discharge, that is, the passing of your mucus plug, then your body is ready to deliver.

The mucus plug is a thick collection of mucus that forms a seal over the cervix opening.

Its color is primarily pink or clear but with traces of blood. This shouldn’t be a cause of concern. 

Most women notice the loss of the mucus plug, or as commonly referred to, the bloody show in the toilet after using the restroom, on their underwear, or while wiping after passing urine.  

Also, it’s possible to lose your mucus plug weeks before experiencing labor, but it’s more prevalent days or hours before delivery.

5. Real Contractions

Signs Labor Is 24-48 Hours Away

Not to be confused with Braxton hicks contractions, real contractions are another famous signs labor is 24-48 hours away.

Braxton hicks contractions, or as their other name, false attractions give it away, can occur months or weeks before actual labor.

Also, they are less painful, slightly uncomfortable, and last for twenty seconds. 

On the contrary, real contractions are frequent and intense, lasting for more than a minute.

This is what leads to the thinning and dilation of the cervix, preparing it for labor.

If you experience contractions more frequently, preferably after 4 to 5 minutes, you can expect labor in less than 48 hours.

6. Bloody Show

Some people confuse this with losing your mucus plug. But a bloody show is another sign that labor is coming. 

When you have a bloody show, it means that you’ve already lost your transparent mucus plug. 

True to its name, a bloody show is mucus that comes with red or brown blood. 

7. Increased Vaginal Discharge

If you’ve been having increased vaginal discharge that is clear, pink, or slightly bloody, it is an indication that labor is about to happen. 

A month before birth, you may also experience an increase in vaginal discharge. This, however, is thicker and has a different color.

8. Diarrhea

Although not always, diarrhea can be a sign that labor is imminent. As labor nears, your body releases relaxin to all your muscles– including the muscles in your rectum.

This helps get rid of all the unnecessary things from your body so you don’t accidentally poop during delivery. 

9. Back Pain

Another sign that labor has started or is fast approaching is back pain– particularly in your lower back. 

You experience this as the muscles and joints in your body are shifting. 

10. Ripened Cervix

You may have already been seeing your doctor more often than before. This is because he’ll be checking how dilated you are. 

If your dilation is past 3cm, it may mean that you are getting ready to go into labor. 

11. Nausea

Some women experience nausea and vomiting during labor. And in some cases, nausea can happen prior to labor. 

This happens during the first active stage of labor and may be because of the pain from your contractions. 

Make sure to stay hydrated if you experience vomiting. 


Few Signs labor is 24-48 hours away include lower body pain or abdomen pain sometimes, diarrhea, loss of your mucus plug contractions and water breaking.

If you have a fair awareness of the possible signs and symptoms, you can smoothly get through the pregnancy phase.

Timely information and awareness will always come in handy, and it wouldn’t stress you at all, even when you are near pregnancy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Feel Hours Before Labor? 

It won’t be all fun and games right before your labor.

You may feel intense contractions that will cause great discomfort, similar to an upset stomach, menstrual cramps, or abdominal pressure.

Pain can shift to the legs eventually, and severe discomfort may be experienced. Unfortunately, the pain or discomfort never subsides until the time of delivery. 

Is 24 Hours Long Labor? 

If the baby is not born until 20 hours of contraction, you may be prolonged hours of labor.

If you have conceived twins or more, your labor is likely to last more than just 16 hours.

Labor can be long and intense in all cases, but you have to keep courage and patience. 

Does Labor Pain Start Suddenly? 

Labor pain does not go as quickly as it starts. It will be slow at the start, but gradually it will increase in magnitude.

Sometimes labor may just start, and we might not realize it. 

When should I go to the hospital during labor?

The best and recommended time to go to the hospital during labor is when your contractions regularly happen four minutes apart.

Also, they should last at least four minutes and have held the pattern for not less than an hour.

Alternatively, you might opt to go to the hospital when your contractions regularly come five minutes apart.

Both alternatives are referred to as the 4-1-1 and 5-1-1 rules, respectively.

Can You Sleep Through Contractions?

It’s possible to sleep through labor if it’s early labor. In fact, it’s vital to rest during the early signs of labor.

Therefore, especially if it’s in the middle of the night, if you wake up and notice contractions, it would be best to relieve yourself, drink some water and return to bed.

Related Post: Pregnancy Reveal To Husband


Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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