Baby Hints & Tips

Early Labour Signs

early labour signs

Early labour signs can include:

  • period like cramps
  • waters breaking
  • pain
  • pre-contractions
  • nausea
  • diarrhoea

Here we ask our community to share their experiences

Community Advice: What were other mummy’s early labour signs?

(Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 – to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.)

Period like cramps

  • Period like cramps that come and go Feeling like the baby is going to fall out, lol I had nausea but everyone is different. With one of my children I leaked fluid but had to go straight into hospital to make sure I didn’t get an infection!!  Mimina

Leaking fluid/ waters breaking/ bloody show

Read about mums losing their mucus plug and how long it took to go in to labour

  • My early sign of labour was a mild amounts of water leaking very early in the morning (thought I’d had an accident rather than leaking waters lol)but I knew once I started getting period like pains they too were quite mild.   Rebecca
  • I’m currently getting the occasional bh and a loss of mucous, but with my last 2 my waters broke before I knew I was in labour.      Rebecca
  •  I didn’t get any my waters break n then that’s it… Nothing else happens until I’m induced. They can’t even turn the oxytocin off as I don’t continue labouring I just stop. Cassie
  • First baby none, was induced 12 days over, Second baby planned cesarian but was on the phone whinging to my sister that I was over being pregnant and wished this baby would just get out, stood up and waters broke with no warning 12 days before surgery date. Andrea
  • Loss of plug during arvo, waters broke early the next morning then baby born 2.5hrs later! Melissa
  •  1st: didnt really have braxton hicks during pregnancy. My waters broke with no warning and baby was born 14 1/2 hours later.
  • I had my show right before I broke (pushed) my own waters and Bub was out 8mins after that. everyone’s stories are so diff its so interesting. Maegan
  • Waters broke at 11am period pain and back ache from about 5. Really bad pain from about 1930 and he was born at 2106. Kristy
  • Third lost mucus plug and felt period pain again went to hospital as was scheduled for an elective section by the time I got to hospital waters were bulging and just about to break. Shi-anne
  • Loss of mucus plug over 2 days constant period like pain very low in abdomen contractions then waters breaking – all very routine stuff – oh except for contractions everyday for 6 weeks b4 bub was born :~ lol.  Jen
  • Braxton hicks for about a week then lost my plug started getting pains and went into hospital 9 he’s later and they broke my waters as I couldn’t progress myself and was induced then had my ds 16.5 hrs after that. Jessica

 Change in energy levels/ nesting

  • I got sooo tired the day before labour I kept nodding off everywhere next morning I woke full on energy at 4am went to the toilet and pop my waters broke lol I had no other signs it was coming I was 37weeks, and baby 2 was induced at 38weeks. Krissy
  •  Severe amounts of energy for about a week, then waters broke. Symone
  • Energy burst 24 hrs before labour started and the morning of just didn’t feel right. Letisha
  •  The day before i cleaned snd cooked up a storm.rhe next day i Felt off got a little show then contractions. Katie
  • Nesting, then lower back pains and then bloody show. Kirsten

Feeling uncomfortable

  •  I couldn’t find a comfortable spot anywhere: sofa, bed, dining chair etc, for the day leading up to starting to feel contractions, which was at about 5pm. My waters didn’t break until late, so only had the uncomfortable feeling up until contractions.  Lesley
  • Mine starts with wind type pain, feels like I ate some bad chicken or something lol, then I have to get myself to hospital quick, my babies come fast. Jes

Pain – back pain/period pain etc

  • Constant lower back pain like when you get your period and period cramping in my lower belly.
  • Like period pain but in lower back. Liza
  • Lost my plug, had niggling back and abdominal pain and really feeling awful for 4 days… Waters ruptured in the morning of day 5 with no pain until 9 hours later then full blown labour until the morning of day 6…Bianca
  • My hips started to ache with both pregnancies, and contractions started a few hrd later, I knew the second was gonna happen pretty soon after i felt those aches. Kelly
  • Sore, aching legs! The same kind of pain that you have the day after a big workout…then the pain travelled up to my lower back. Loss of appetite too. Melaina
  • I had a really bad pain like i had a bladder infection..i couldnt walk proply with it cos it was like a pulling pain as you get with bladder infections…midwife thinks it was the start of labour bit were still not sure…of so that 40+ hours of labour lol  Tiana
  • Woke up with period like pains that worsened throughout the day. Chelsea
  • Cramps and lots of pain in my pelvis. Aimee
  • Period type pain!  Cassandra
  • cramps that start and have a peak then eases off as a pattern. Amie
  • So tired drained, lower back ache, Braxton hicks, before both labours. Mel
  • 1st: no early signs. I had leakage then strong contractions. Baby came 2 hrs later, 2 days early . 2nd: 1 week late. Had a s&s, a few hrs later started feeling period like pain on and off before becoming stronger. Had baby 8hrs after having the s&s.  Kelly
  • Lower back discomfort. Heidi
  • I felt sick, like I had a flu without the runny nose. Body aches esp my back and pelvis, then my waters broke. Tanya
  • Pains in my lower tummy that went around to my bum, pain doesn’t go away, just gets stronger! Belinda
  •  Really bad back pain and then about 6 hours later my waters broke, no contractions until they started them for me. Turns out bub had her back to mine so no wonder my back ached so much. Jill
  • First time started with what felt like period pain and I started to bleed a little, was till hours later and I literally mean hours 24 to be exact that the contractions started but I couldn’t get comfortable and didn’t know what to do with myself. Shi-anne

Pre-labour contractions / Braxton Hicks

  • That went on for a few days before I started contracting on & off for 3 days then I went into actual labour. Teri-Anne
  • My constant Braxton hicks turned into painful ones gradually getting more painful and making me hold my breath or breathe through them! Kylie
  • First time – water broke then I was induced. Second time I was having increased Braxton hicks and then my water broke and they induced me again. Lost my plug early on around 36 wks-ish. Deliver both at 38 wks. Leigh
  •  a few niggles and on and off braxton hicks caught me by surprise when that turned into full on contractions 30 seconds apart and delivered within the hour. Sharni
  • 2nd: Heaps of pains, aches, braxton hicks throughout 3rd trimester. A couple of false alarms lol. Contractions started at 4am, waters broken at 3:30pm, baby born an hour later – best labour ever – pain for only an hour! Tamara
  • I had contractions all over the place. The timings for the contractions were crazy. I woke at 430am, went to the loo and and lost some of my plug. Wasn’t in any pain, it was just annoying. Went to the hospital, the Ob on the ward did a stretch n sweep, admitted me to the room but at 1230pm she sent me home to see if it would progress. By 530pm the contractions were stronger but still not doing anything so i went back to the hospital at 6 she asked if i wanted her to break my waters. I said go for it. 4Hrs later i had my boy in my arms. It was the same with my first as well. Lousia

No signs

  •  No signs. Water broke. Oxytocin drip to induce.  Trisha
  •  I had no early signs at all, i just woke up early in the morning with contractions and had my baby the next morning. Jade 
  • Waters just broke through the night with both my girls…Kylie 
  • 3cm dilated for 4 days than induced 8 days passed EDD, they broke my water n 6 hours later my 1st girl ws born. Aftr 2 hours of constant Braxton hicks thn 2 hours of actual labour strtd wit the feeling of waitin to do number 2 bt nothing would happen. So altogether 4 hours thn bby girl number 2 was born. (vry horrible as she came too fast, midwives weren’t ready I tore resulting in lots of stitches) hoping bby number 3 gives me a better labour in June.. Bridgitte
  • Nones.. Woke up.with pains n knew straight away I was in labour ..Lisa-marie
  •  Nothing until contractions actually started – didn’t even see my plug go. I’d had BH contractions from about half way through pregnancy anyway, and then the early contractions felt like period pain type cramps but at intervals. Lesley


  • Feeling sick. I went into labour the next day. Diana 
  • I had constant braxton hicks than i was nausious and vomitting which made my waters break a couple hours after that my contractions started. Paige


  • Nothing until diarrhoea then that was it!! Renee
  • 1st woke up with gastro type feeling vomiting with diarrhea plus cramps that ended up being contractions daughter born 12 hours later. 2nd waters broke spontaneously 11days early then had nothing for 8 and a half hours contractions finally started and son was born 3 hours later.  Laura


  • All of a sudden no signs of thrush after dealing with it thru out whole pregnancy 2 days later contractions just started 8-10mins apart 3hours later Bub was here. There was no warm up or other signs this time. Maegan
  • For both my pregnancies i got a really bad headache that wouldnt go away and very high blood pressure the day before, then i have to go to the toilet a lot and empty my bowels then waters break and contractions start. Alicia

Am I in labour?

Mums share how they knew labour had started

Labour has started … here are some useful tips

** TENS for pain relief

** Breathing techniques to help

** Tips for dad to be helpful during labour

** Most comfortbale clothes for labour

** Tips for new parents

 What were your early signs of labour, comment below?

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  1. Charlotte says:

    Woke up 8am wednesday morn, felt contractions all day at home, packed hospital bag, headed to hospital @ thursday 12:30am 8cm dilated already conts got way stronger, water broke on its own @ 1:40 had bub 1:45am early thurs.

  2. Kelly says:

    Can you lovely mummies help me please….. this is my 3rd baby due in 24 days…. had my bloody show Monday night. On and off period type pains which are really hurting…. ladie bits are sore and swollen….. buba has dropped loads now… iv had dirrehea this morning just don’t feel myself I’m so emotional right about now…. in my last too pregnancys iv never had this before…. can some one please help xxx

    • Christina says:

      I feel horrible this morning 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant with my second baby boy woke up this morning feeling emotional angry tired and not very hungry disastis pubis disfunction dislicated pelvis and just been diagnosed with mild preaclampsia is my emotional state telling me im going to be in labour soon ive almost had enough