Common symptoms of prelabor include leaking or discharge that is the result of water breaking or the mucus plug that protects the cervix releasing from the body, explains Parents magazine. Abdominal contractions that may be painful are also signs of prelabor. Pregnant women should contact a medical professional if contractions are more frequent than every 10 minutes.
Contractions during prelabor cause the abdomen to become hard, explains WebMD. A period of rest occurs when the uterus relaxes and the belly becomes soft once again. Contractions may cause pressure in the pelvis accompanied by an ache in the lower abdomen and back.
Cramps similar to menstrual cramps are a sign of prelabor and may be accompanied by diarrhea, according to Parents magazine. Some pregnant women also experience pelvic pressure with a sensation of the baby shifting downward.
Prelabor symptoms also include a dull ache in the pelvic area, thighs, lower belly or lower back, explains WebMD. Pregnant women may feel unusually tired, experience an unexplained fever or feel pain when pressing on the belly.
Women experiencing prelabor symptoms should rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration and reduce the intensity of cramps and diarrhea, suggests Parents magazine. Expectant parents who are preterm should consult with a medical professional to determine if medication or bed rest is necessary to stop labor symptoms.