Signs of Labour

The signs of labour aren’t always clear. Below, you will find some information to help determine whether you are, in fact, in labour.

Do you feel unwell?
Many women with preterm labour have a sense that things do not feel as they did before.

Do you have menstrual-type cramps?
These are felt low in the abdomen, just above the pubic bone. The cramping may have a pattern or feel almost constant.

Do you have a low, dull backache?
The backache is located mainly in the lower back and may radiate to the sides or front. It may be rhythmic or constant and is not relieved by change of position.

Do you feel any pressure in your pelvis?
You may feel pressure or a sense of fullness in the pelvic area, in your back or thighs. It may feel as though the baby is going to “fall out”.

Are you having contractions?
A contraction is a tightening of the muscle in the uterus and you can feel it become hard. Irregular contractions occur normally at any time throughout pregnancy and usually do not hurt. Preterm contractions may also be painless, but there is often a pattern to the “tightening”. Your uterus will feel hard over the entire surface and this may occur every 10 minutes or closer and last from 30-60 seconds.

Are you leaking or gushing fluid?
Any change in your vaginal discharge?
Are you having any vaginal bleeding?

Has the baby’s movements changed? Is the baby not moving as much or at all?

Special Pregnancy Program

Referrals »

Fetal Medicine: 416-586-4800 x 7756
Fax: 416-586-3216

Maternal Medicine: 416-586-4800 x 7000
Fax: 416-586-5109

Main clinic hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

Prenatal Diagnosis & Medical Genetics

Referrals »

phone: 416-586-4800 x 4523
fax numbers:
416-586-4723 or 416-586-8384

Perinatal Mental Health

Referrals »

Phone: 416-586-4800 x 8325
Fax: 416-586-8596