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Signs that Labor Is 24 to 48 Hours Away

Signs that Labor Is 24 to 48 Hours Away

Water breaking, lower back pain, intense contraction, and dilation of the cervix are some of the possible signs that you are 24 to 48 hours away from labor. Seeing how to be forewarned is to be forearmed, let’s examine some of the signs that labor is 24 to 48 hours away.

Pregnant Women Are Unique

Frankly, there is no step-by-step guide as regards the signs that labor is several hours or a few days away. This is because pregnant women are unique and one pregnant woman’s experience can be very different from another’s.

The first experience of pregnancy can even be different from the subsequent ones. Generally speaking, this is also how it is with several other pregnancy-related issues. For example, women do not start showing pregnancy at the same time. Having made this clear, read on to find out some of the possible signs that suggest labor is 24 – 48 hours away.

Signs that Suggest Labor Is Several Hours or a Few Days Away

In no particular order, below are some possible tell signs that labor is several hours or a few days away from happening:

Bloody Show

Just as the name suggests, the mucus plug comprises thick mucus. It is strategically positioned in the cervix opening and protects the baby. This is by ensuring harmful bacteria do not get to the baby. As labor approaches, the body begins to take shape for the baby’s eventual birth. This includes losing this plug that comprises mucus.

Speaking of the uniqueness, there is no defined way this thick mucus collection gets off. It can happen at a go (very thick mucus glob) or gradually. The look when it is off is also different. For some, there will be blood traces (which is no problem), hence the name “bloody show”.

Intense Contractions

Intense Contractions

False/fake contractions – Braxton Hicks; is common during pregnancy. So, there is more to pregnancy than morning sickness and all those other early symptoms. This is especially as you move weeks closer to the expected date of delivery. Braxton Hicks contractions come with some degree of discomfort.

But something more intense might suggest that labor is closer than you think. Other than these contractions being more intense, they happen more often and last longer than regular Braxton Hicks contractions.

Water Breaking

The medical explanation would be the rupturing of the amniotic sac. This is a sac that is filled with fluid and that does the job of protecting the baby. As the body begins to make preparations for birth, the amniotic sac will get ruptured.

There are even situations where this is artificially done by a doctor at the hospital. If/when it happens naturally, it is most likely because the amniotic sac has given in to the pressure of the baby’s body. The water breaking sign is one of the very clear signs that labor is just several hours or a few days away.

Back Pain in the Lower Body Part

This might sound confusing as back pain is something most women already have to deal with during pregnancy. Well, this sort of back pain in the lower parts of the body is more intense. It is a result of the joints & ligaments preparing for the birth of the baby.

As the labour date inches closer, this lower back pain becomes even more uncomfortable. You might even feel it in areas around your pelvis and discover changing position does not offer reasonable relief.

These are just a few of the possible signs but very common ones. Some of the others include:

  • A strong and compelling instinct – one that makes some women suddenly put things in place for the arrival of their baby
  • Weight loss – Due to the shedding of excess water fat and frequent urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilation of the Cervix
  • Nausea

As explained in the early part of this article, pregnant women are unique. So, not every woman will experience all the signs, and even exactly in the manner discussed here.


You will be nowhere close to finding out when labor will happen when you go by the EDD (Expected Date of Delivery). This is why signs are sought. We have discussed some of the signs that may suggest labor is several hours or a few days away. You can check the IST Health sexuality segment for more related details.

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