Extreme Tiredness Before Labour Starts: 23 Symptoms for Alert

Extreme tiredness before labour starts is the first symptom that your labor day is very near. As the time of the new arrival of the baby comes close, the worry, anxiety, and excitement start to rise.

This is when they look for all sorts of symptoms that can help them know when they will go into labor. They read all sorts of books and articles to find all kinds of information and reason behind the smallest thing they are facing. 

One of the common questions is if extreme tiredness before labour starts means that your delivery time is near. In some cases, it does mean that it is near. However, some more symptoms give the surety that labor is coming anytime soon.

Is exhaustion a sign of labor
Is exhaustion a sign of labor

Is exhaustion a sign of labor?

When you are already on your last days of pregnancy, there is a chance that you can get into labor at any time possible. The doctors give a probable date for the delivery, but labor can occur even before or after. So it is always better to keep your eyes open for the symptoms before labor begins. You may like our recent publication on How to lose weight while breastfeeding.

It is normal to feel extremely tired before labor. There are some usual and common signs and also some that are quite weird and unusual. During pregnancy, your body will start having some visible changes and also some internal changes. You will feel more emotional and will find it hard to fall asleep. This will cause fatigue and exhaustion by the time you are supposed to have a baby.

In some cases, extreme fatigue is a sign of labor. So you are almost at your 38 weeks and feel extreme tiredness before labour starts. You may fee as much rest as you can. Having a proper diet and a good amount of rest will help your body gain some energy for the labor. 

38 weeks pregnant extremely tired symptoms 
38 weeks pregnant extremely tired symptoms 

Symptoms of 38 weeks pregnant extremely tired before labor 

When you are close to the last few days of pregnancy, you will have these symptoms before labor begins. Being pregnant for 38 weeks is not easy. You will get tired of the swollen feet not being able to sleep. When you reach 39 weeks pregnant and feel sleepy and extreme tiredness before labour starts, it might signify that you are close to your labor. 

There will be a few other symptoms, like water breaking and the baby dropping, which are the two massive signs that the labor time is close. You might experience diarrhea during this time as your body prepares by clearing all your systems before you have the baby. The loss of mucus plug is another symptom that tells you you are soon gonna be having a baby. 

Mucus plug works as a barrier and protector for the uterus, preventing germs or bacteria from entering. You will have the baby real soon if you start to feel contractions in the groin and pelvic area. Strong painful contractions or cramps that come in a fixed interval might mean it is not a false alarm. Get prepared both mentally and physically to have a baby.

Symptoms before labor begins
23 Symptoms before labor begins

23 Symptoms Before Labor Begins

There are some symptoms before labor begins and you should know it for being alert from false symptoms. Let’s see the 23 signs that your labor is very near:

1. Sudden insomnia before labor

Although it is always difficult to fall asleep when you are pregnant, some studies have shown that sudden insomnia before labor is quite common. Some people say it is the body preparing itself to get used to more sleepless nights that are on its way when the baby will arrive. 

But if the mother cannot get proper sleep, it might affect her health, so make sure she gets plenty of rest before her labor starts. 

2. Loss of appetite sign of labor

In some cases, when the baby drops to the pelvic area, it puts pressure on the stomach, so the mother needs to visit the bathroom quite fast after a meal. Most of the mothers have noticed that they had a loss of appetite before labor. So it is possibly a sign of labor. It makes food less appealing, and with common symptoms like nausea, it is quite difficult to have an appetite for food. The mother also might feel too thirsty and have other symptoms that will make sure she is going into labor soon. Let’s see the foods to avoid during pregnancy.

3. Is dizziness a sign of labor

With a lot of other symptoms, feeling dizzy or lightheaded is a sign of labor. Dizziness is one of the earliest signs of labor, followed by nausea. When you are close to labor, your body is already going through a lot. It needs to prepare itself for having the baby. So, it is quite normal if you start to feel a bit dizzy and lightheaded. When this happens, lie down, take proper rest, and make sure you are eating well and staying hydrated. 

Symptoms before labor begins: Deep sleep before labor
Deep sleep before labor

4. Deep sleep before labor

It is very common if you are 39 weeks pregnant and feeling very tired and sleepy. While some pregnant mothers have insomnia, some have also reported having a sound sleep before going to labor. They felt recharged after that long needed sleep. It is deep enough to feel as if they had passed out, but their energy after waking up is the boost for the upcoming labor. So rest and get some sleep whenever you get a chance. 

5. Burst of energy how long before labor      

Being pregnant takes out a lot of energy as the discomfort often leads to insomnia. Most of the women have felt extreme tiredness before labour starts and restless before going into labor. But sometimes, they have also felt a sudden burst of energy before labor. They feel like cleaning the house or rearranging it for the new baby. This behavior is also called nesting, often seen in other animals. It is just a sign of labor so that the mother can prepare herself.

6. Increased appetite before labor

Increased appetite before labor might be one of the symptoms before labor begins. Most people feel a loss of appetite before labor, but some have reported eating a lot and have some weird cravings that they never had before. It is common for them to feel extremely thirsty or nauseous. So do not get worried if you crave junk food and eat a lot all of a sudden. Make sure you eat what you crave for if the possible cause you will need all the energy you can get when you get in the labor. 

Symptoms before labor begins: Body temperature before labor
Body temperature before labor

7. Body temperature before labor

With extreme fatigue early labor, you will also feel a change in the body temperature before labor. Sudden chills and temperature drops might be a sign that you are soon going into labor. These sudden changes might occur because of the hormonal changes the body goes through before having the baby delivered. But when you are in labor, there will be a rise in the temperature. Changes in body temperature might be one of the many symptoms before labor begins.

8. Extreme tiredness before labour starts

Many ask “Is tiredness a sign of labor?”. Well, Some have complained of feeling really tired before labor. It might be because of all those sleepless nights of pregnancy, and the restlessness one has to go through during pregnancy. But this tiredness gets extreme when it is time for the baby to come out. It is normal to feel fatigued and tired all the time. As the due date gets closer, you will feel much more drained than before. You need a nutritious diet and good rest during this time to stay strong and have enough energy till the delivery. 

9. Losing weight at end of pregnancy sign of labor

You will gain weight during your pregnancy, and that is normal. But you can notice that you have lost some weight when you are close to your due date. This happens when your body gets rid of the water weight and the amniotic fluid. It makes you lose about three pounds even before the baby is out.

So if you notice losing some pounds, the chances are that you are soon going to have a baby. However, losing too much weight might be a matter of concern, so consult a doctor if you feel anything is wrong.

10. Feeling unwell before labor starts

Feeling unwell before labor starts is one of the early symptoms before labor begins. So fatigue prior to labor is quite normal, and when you are facing this, you must take plenty of rest so that your body can preserve the energy well for the labor. Not all fatigue will mean that you are going to be in labor the next day, but this is a symptom you will also feel when labor is near. However, if you are feeling too unwell, consult a doctor and make sure everything is fine. 

Symptoms before labor begins: Weepy before labor
Weepy before labor

11. Weepy before labor

Certain hormone changes create mood swings and make you go weepy before labor. It is perfectly normal. The mood swings do not always mean that you will cry on tiny little incidents. It will also mean that you will be in a bad mood before labor, so there is no need to feel guilty about crying while watching a movie. Or getting pissed off at minor things. Soon you will have a baby in your hands, and all of these will be worth it. 

12. Nasal congestion before labor

Having flu or nasal congestion before labor is one common sign that you will soon have labor. You will also feel feverish, headache, and other flu symptoms that you usually do not have. These symptoms will be coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose. You will also notice fatigue and unusual bowel movements like diarrhea a few days before you get your true labor. It is better to start preparing for it when you notice these flu-like symptoms before labor.

13. Acne before labor

You know how acne and pimples show up right before any big day, just like that acne also shows up before your baby is born. The reason behind acne and breakouts is the hormonal changes that the body goes through before labor. So if all of a sudden you start to notice acne, the chances are you are soon going to be a mother. Drink plenty of water and use natural products to take care of the skin to ensure the acne and pimple go away soon.

14. Is diarrhea a sign of labor

Is diarrhea a sign of labor? It is one of the most common questions asked by pregnant women. As the due date gets closer, they go through a lot of changes. When the baby drops to the pelvic area, it puts pressure on the stomach and the intestines.

so whatever they might eat flushes out of the body in about an hour. Having diarrhea is your body’s way of cleaning so that you have nothing to worry about when you are pushing the baby out. This natural cleaning is actually a pretty good sign of the upcoming labor.

Symptoms before labor begins: Breast pain before labor
Breast pain before labor

15. Breast pain before labor

Pregnant women who feel breast pain before labor know that this is another symptom before labor begins. It is quite common in pregnant women close to labor. The breast gets ready to produce milk for the newborn baby, and it gets hard and goes through some changes that cause breast pain.

It will go away after a few days when the baby is born. But it is better to be prepared for labor if you have no other symptoms except this one. Sometimes people get silent labor and do not realize they are having contractions until it is too late. 

16. Itchy skin before labor

You will come across itchy skin more often than you think when pregnant. The itches will begin in the abdomen area when your baby starts to get bigger. As the skin stretches, it will itch and give you stretch marks. You can rub olive oil or any organic coconut oil to soothe the stretch marks. 

However, itchy skin before labor is also a condition that is one of the symptoms before labor begins. 

You can feel itches in your hand and feet, which means you have Intrahepatic Cholestasis. It is a liver condition that occurs when you are in your last stage of pregnancy.

This condition creates itchiness without any visible rash. Also, this rash is not limited to only the hands and feet. Other parts of the body can face itching too.

17. Sore nipples sign of labor

As the delivery time approaches, your breast will get filled with milk for the baby. It is nutritious and really important for the baby. You will notice your breasts getting sore, hard, swollen, and painful for some days. 

You will also find sore nipples, which will be really sensitive during these days. You can take these as symptoms before labor begins. Because it is your body getting ready to feed the upcoming baby the delivery might not be too far away. 

18. Night sweats 38 weeks pregnan

Night sweats are quite common during pregnancy. It can happen at any month of pregnancy. Having night sweat is commonly known as nocturnal hyperhidrosis and is very common during pregnancy. It helps to keep the body temperature at a level. 

Also, during 38 weeks of pregnancy, the excitement of having a baby and the body transitions often make night sweats. The responsible hormone for this is the pregnancy hormone progesterone. However, having night sweats is not related to labor. It is just another thing that happens during pregnancy. 

Symptoms before labor begins: Body aches before labor
Body aches before labor

19. Body aches before labor

With extreme fatigue during early labor, you will also experience body aches before labor. These body aches will be slight cramping or pain in the groin area and the lower back. You will feel this getting intense as the delivery time gets near. 

The body aches because the joints and muscles of your body prepare themselves for the labor by stretching and shifting. Regular contractions will mean that the baby is coming soon. The last few days of pregnancy are pretty risky and uncertain, so it is always good to stay prepared for it. You may like our recent publication on The fruits to avoid during pregnancy.

20. Hormonal headache before labor

There will be a lot of changes in the body because of the pregnancy, and having a hormonal headache is one of them. The reason behind these headaches is staying under stress, not sleeping, dehydration, and hormonal changes. 

However, this might not be one of the symptoms before labor begins, as some experts have suggested. Extreme headaches might mean that you have preeclampsia which is one serious condition that needs some medical attention. So if you ever feel this way, contact a doctor.    

21. Shortness of breath labor signs

The baby dropping to the pelvis, also known as ‘lightning,’ happens before the labor begins. Before this, the pregnant women go through shortness of breath as the baby puts pressure on the lower abdomen. When the baby is about 39 weeks old and has grown quite big, it pushes the diaphragm, which is basically the muscle separating the lungs from the abdominal cavity. 

Also, the real contractions will cause enough pain that might make it hard to breathe. Shortness of breath makes it harder to sleep flat at night. You can try to sleep on your side or take some extra pillows under your head for comfort.

22. Is leaking colostrum a sign of labor

Leaking breast milk or colostrum all throughout pregnancy is normal. It is nutritious and the first thing that your baby is allowed to have. The changes in the breast happen when you are pregnant. It gets swollen, heavier, and hard with sore nipples. 

The hormonal changes and upcoming baby is the reason behind the changes. It is just your body preparing to nurse the baby when it arrives. However, if you notice there are even a  few drops of blood coming with the milk, consult a doctor immediately.

Symptoms before labor begins: Does swollen feet mean labor is near
Does swollen feet mean labor is near

23. Does swollen feet mean labor is near

You will notice swollen feet many times during your pregnancy, and it will not mean that your labor is near. During pregnancy, as the body changes, it holds on to water rather than getting rid of it. The water is stored in the feet or hands and fingers.

That is why you will notice some swelling throughout your journey of pregnancy. It is nothing to worry about, but if the swelling gets to the face and you notice puffiness on the face and have some abdominal pain, consult a doctor to ensure it is nothing serious like Preeclampsia.  

How did you feel before labor
How did you feel before labor

How did you feel before labor?

Some pregnant women have a common question with those who have already had a baby. The question always is, how did you feel before labor? They ask this to prepare themselves to be ready for their labor. Well, there are some common symptoms of labor that have the cervix dilated and the water breaking.

But instead of these, there are also emotional changes that can cause mood swings or emotional breakdowns. A rush of energy will make them get the house ready for the new baby. This behavior is known as nesting. Being pregnant is tiring, and the sleepless nights make it much worse to deal with. 

Before labor time, one can feel some negative feelings like extreme tiredness before labour starts, restlessness, or anxiety along with a positive feeling, which is excitement for her coming baby. You will also feel some real constant contractions that will continue coming. 

These contractions will start from the lower back and will start to get to the front. When you see all these signs, make sure to prepare yourself for the upcoming baby.    

39 weeks pregnant signs of labor approaching
39 weeks pregnant signs of labor approaching

39 weeks pregnant signs of labor approaching

When you reach 39 weeks of pregnancy, you will need to look for signs that labor is coming soon. Some early signs of labor approaching can give you some time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically before the baby comes. You will notice some cramps that are mainly mild contractions but feel like menstruation cramps. 

Also, there will be pressure on the pelvis or vagina. This happens when the baby drops, also known as ‘lightning’. When the labor is close, there are different signs like dilating and softening of the cervix is one of the many signs labor is 24-48 hours away. The baby will put pressure on the cervix, making it dilate, which is one of the major signs that the baby is coming soon. 

Also, if you face your water breaking, you can get into labor quite soon. Water breaking means a gush of clear liquid coming out from the vagina. There is nothing to worry about. It is just the amniotic fluid that rushes out when it is time for the baby to be born. Rush to the hospital whenever your water breaks. 

Another sign of soon to get in labor is the loss of mucus plug. A mucus plug is a thick barrier created by your cervix to protect the uterus from bacteria and germs. When you lose this mucus plug, you might notice some blood too. 

Uncommon signs of labor
Uncommon signs of labor

Uncommon signs of labor

The women who are having a baby for the first time want to know all about the symptoms of labor so that they can stay prepared for it. You will find almost all of the usual symptoms on the internet, like nesting then fatigue before labor. 

But there are some non-traditional signs of labor that hardly anyone talks about. Right before labor, you might notice having mood swings and emotional breakdowns. Although these are quite common during pregnancy, they suddenly increase because of the uncertainty, excitement, and fear about the delivery. 

The hormones will not just make you cry it will also give you breakouts and acne.  Also, the baby will kick less and shuffle and squirm in the belly more. Some have reported experiencing chills before going into labor, so look out for any sudden changes in the body’s temperature.

Also, if you just had the weirdest food craving when you are close to your due date, the reason might be that the baby is soon on its way. Having stomach problems or diarrhea is just another way to flush out the system before you start pushing the baby out.

Some people had also experienced dreaming about being in labor days before the labor pain started. So you can count that as one of the weird things that happen before labor. 

How did your dog act before labor?
How did your dog act before labor?

How did your dog act before labor?

Some studies had shown that those who had pet dogs had noticed changes in their behavior right before they went into labor. The reason could be that they can sense the labor coming as they can smell and feel changes that your body goes through before labor starts. 

You might notice your lovely pet dog is being extra clingy and not leaving you alone at all. It looks like it is worried and taking extra care of you.  Dogs can feel the last moment the body changes before delivery, and so they might be sniffing your crotch more. 

Because of their strong-smelling sense, they can smell the changes in the hormones, even the placenta. So if you are close to labor, they might sense the smell and act a bit clingy. Some dogs’ behavior can be different than usual. 

You might notice some unnecessary barking, crying, or peeing indoors. All these show that your pup feels that something is not right, and they are also restless about it. However, not every dog will do these things. But some might, and if you see your dog acting weird when you are close to the due date, the reason might be that you will soon go into labor. So, it is always nice to notice their behavior and stay prepared.

Signs of labor to determine if you are having a true labor or a false labor
Signs of labor to determine if you are having a true labor or a false labor

Signs of labor to determine if you are having a true labor or a false labor

When you see these symptoms and feel that you are going into labor, it turns out to be a false alarm. So it is nice to know the differences between a true labor contraction and a false labor contraction to keep you on the right track. The false labor contractions are also known as the Braxton Hicks contraction. 

These feel like menstruation cramps that are not that powerful and do not occur regularly. They are known to come occasionally when you change sides while sleeping or getting up. This, however, does not mean that you are having labor pain. 

True labor has symptoms like regular contractions that only get stronger with time. They come in regular breaks, and the pain remains in the lower back and slowly radiates into the front, while the false labor will only have pain in the abdomen. So if you see these true labor symptoms before labor begins, you should know whether your labor is true or not and act accordingly.

Dr Vilma

M.D., MPH (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) Furman University, BS - Tulane University School of Public Health, MPH - University of Illinois at Chicago, MD

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