69 answers

Menstrual Cramps at 40 Weeks?

My due date was yesterday and for the past couple of nights, I keep waking up from menstrual like pains. I'll get up and go to the bathroom and there will be some mucky clear discharge when I wipe. The cramps seem to go away when I get up.
But when I'm lying down, they feel pretty strong and it always makes me get up thinking I'm going into labor. Then the baby is moving a lot so I really don't know what's going on. I'm so scared I'm not going to know I'm going into labor and end up having my baby at the house or something. As it is, its 5 am right now, and I woke up to the cramps, and feel the need to do "number 2" but am too scared I'll push the baby out... :/

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well my contractions are 15-20 min apart and mild. I am leaking fluid when I walk so my midwife has me trying nipple stimulation to speed things up. Baby is moving. If my contractions do not progress by 6-7pm, I'm to go to the hospital to be induced. Please cross your fingers. I'd love to be able to do this naturally.

Featured Answers

Please tell me you had the baby today......It sounds very much like you are in labor and need to go to the hospital. Let me know if you are okay!!!
Thinking of you,

It sounds to me like you are experiencing early labor. I know how you feel. I have 2 boys and the second one was 5 days over due before I finally had him. If you get these intense sharp pains and can't walk when they happen, get to the doc or the hospital b/c it may be true labor. Hope this helped. Good luck! :D

I had the same situation, but only the night before I gave birth... What I thought were menstral cramps were contractions...

More Answers

call your doctor....NOW

1 mom found this helpful

it might be false labor or braxton hix - if it gets better when you move or get up it's not real labor.

i had false labor for 2 weeks with my son, they were so regular and went from 10 mins apart to 5mins apart that i went ot the hospital thinking i was in labor. the nurses told me i would know when it's time (I DID!) and you will too! one of them said, if you can walk and talk, it's not real labor (lol). it's very rare that you would go into labor an progress so fast that you would deliver at home

from babycenter.com :

How can I tell if I'm in false labor or true labor?
Sometimes it's very hard to tell false labor from the early stages of true labor. If you're 37 weeks or more, here are some things that might help you sort it out:
• False labor contractions are unpredictable. They come at irregular intervals and vary in length and intensity. Although true labor contractions may be irregular at first, over time they start coming at regular and shorter intervals, become increasingly more intense, and last longer.

• With false labor, the pain from the contractions is more likely to be centered in your lower abdomen. With true labor, you may feel the pain start in your lower back and wrap around to your abdomen.

• False labor contractions may subside on their own, or when you start or stop an activity or change position. True labor contractions will persist and progress regardless of what you do.

hope that helped, and i hope that you truly are in labor - those ast few weeks of waiting can be brutal :)

1 mom found this helpful

I felt like that for about three days before I went into labor. They would come and go, come and go. Finally at the end they started coming about every 6 or 7 minutes and stay for several hours, went to the hospital, had my baby girl. :) Not sure what you felt when you had your first baby but everyone told me when I went into labor, the pain would feel like extremely bad period cramps. Hope you feel better and get through this ok.

I would seriously call you doctor. YOu may be going into labor. I was induced with both mine so am not quit sure about the whole labor thing since mine was controlled. I would call and tell them what you are experiencing. good luck!

Go to the hospital or call your doctor. Good Luck!

That discharge you're speaking of, may be your "mucus plug", which means you could be close to labor. For my second, I had the mucus plug thing about 4 days b4 delivery,(currently expecting my 3rd). If you're past your due date, then I'd call your dr. and let them know what's going on so they can see you and see how far, if at all, you've dialated. Trust me, if you were having labor contractions you'd know. Have you timed them: how long they last and how far apart they are? A common stretch of time seems to be only 15 min. in between. That's been the time limit when my OB tells me to call. Good luck and congratulations.

I hope you're already at the hospital.... sounds just like labor to me!!!!

Please go to the doctor , you may be in labor, or at least call the Dr.

sounds to me like you're in labor

Your going into labor. Your body is telling you something. Call your doctor immediatetly and tell them what is going on. Call them at 5:00 a.m., they have a service and that's what they are there for. Your water may have even broken.

You are soooo in labor - YEA! If you aren't at the hospital go on!!!

:) L.

Trust me, you will know when you are in active labor. Your body has brackston hicks contractions to help prepare the uterus and baby for the coming big event. Plus, it being so close to the estimated day, your body could be working at dialation a little and then giving you a break. Your body knows what it was doing, it was made to give birth. As someone who had a planned homebirth, they are actually statistically safer than hospital births for both the mom & baby. Less interventions = less complications.

These menstrual cramps may mean you are in labor girl.....go to the hospital and get checked out!!!!!!! Good luck with the new baby A.!!!

You are having contractions. If you are 40 weeks, the baby wants to come out. Hopefully, you will get to see these responses but trust me the baby is coming very, very, very, soon. What you are feeling is very normal. And you should feel like doing #2. That's how my contractiosn felt. At your last visit were you dialated any?

I'll just say Congratulations on your Bundle of JOY!!!

Sounds like your're ready to go to the hospital! The sensation of wanting to go to the bathroom indicates that your baby girl has moved into position. I would defineatly call your doctor immediately!!

I had the same feeling at 30 weeks and they were contractions. Call your OB to get in for an appointment today! (If you haven't already had the baby!) Good luck!

You are probably getting ready to go into labor soon. the mucus could be the plug trying to pass. just keep intouch with your dr and let them know whats going on. and if there is any decreas in the babys movements call the dr.

A. J

I would call your OB right away since you are so far along in your pregnancy. It's probably just your body getting ready for labor but it's best to call your doctor to make sure. Since you are right at 40 weeks, your baby is ready to come at any moment. Good luck and congratulations!

I agree. Sounds like Labor to me.
Please update us if/when you can...

Hi As a mother of 4 if you feel like you need to poop you should probably head to the hospital!!!Good Luck!!

Definitely go to the hospital! Once your water has broken, they want to deliver the baby within twenty four hours to reduce the risk of infection. Get ready...here comes baby!

unless you went fast with your first, the chances are small you will deliver at home. Your body might be thinking about going into labor soon. But keep in mind, you've had one baby you know what labor feels like. Trust your body, call your MD for advice and if you are still worried go to L&D to get checked out.

Please tell me you had the baby today......It sounds very much like you are in labor and need to go to the hospital. Let me know if you are okay!!!
Thinking of you,

Call your doctor. I always had preemies. However, if you need to have a BM, you don't want to take a chance on delivering the baby in the toilet.

I have had three and it sounds to me like you are gearing up to go into labor!! The discharge sounds like you are losing your mucous plug. Good luck! If you are nervous I would call they gyno and go to the hospital!

these are probably Braxton-Hicks contractions and even possibly true labor. call the doc. best wishes

Sorry, it didn't think it sent the first time.

It sounds like you are having contractions. It is very common to have contractions, but it not really be labor... AKA false labor. You will know that it is the real thing when you have consistant contraction that are 3 - 5 minutes apart, and they don't go away with activity or changes in positions.
On another note: All that clear discharge sounds like your mucous plug... Once you loose that, it could be a matter of hours or days until labor starts.
Well, good luck!

Trust me...you'll know when you are in actual labor! If/When your water breaks you will feel like you peed your pants, but not necessarily alot. If you think this might be happening, you can get up and walk around, as when the baby moves, more should come out.
Your doctor gets paid lots of money...don't feel bad calling him/her anytime you wonder about possible labor, and they are used to calls like this. You can call the hospital 24/7 to ask them questions as well.
This late in your pregnancy cramps are not unusual, so just do what you need to do to get comfortable again.
I wish you the best!

I had the same situation, but only the night before I gave birth... What I thought were menstral cramps were contractions...

This happened to me with my first one and I went to the hospital at midnight of course was sent home and then two hours later my water broke and had a beautiful healthy baby boy. Just remember every pregnancy is different and there is never a dumb reason to call the doctor and go in to be checked out. Hopefully when you get this response you have had the baby. Good luck and remember to breath.

Sounds like things are on their way. Don't be afraid to poop. It just your body's way of getting you ready. The cramps are probably contractions - but if they go away when you change positions or are not consistent (every 6 min or so), then you're good to go! You're doing great! Hang in there!

sounds like pre-labor...i had pains for over two weeks before mine actually came...don't be scared---just time any contractions that you have...that is the sure sign of real labor..good luck!

Go to the hospital. It sounds like you are in labor. You need to go get checked out. They may send you home but you need to be evaluated, plus it will ease you mind especially if this is your first. Good luck and congratulations.

It sounds like you are in the early stages of labor. Have you checked in with your OB??? As this is your second child, you may transition through the stages of labor pretty quickly, so your OB may want you to come to the hospital sooner rather than later. Also, walking does help labor, so see if gentle walks are okay. Call your OB and let them know what's going on. Good luck and congratulations.

Your baby is getting ready to be born! Maybe you should call your doc bc he might want to induce to speed it up. Or maybe not--but I'd let him know anyway--just to make you feel better! Good Luck and Congratulations!

It sounds to me like you are experiencing early labor. I know how you feel. I have 2 boys and the second one was 5 days over due before I finally had him. If you get these intense sharp pains and can't walk when they happen, get to the doc or the hospital b/c it may be true labor. Hope this helped. Good luck! :D

Hi A.,

I hope you have gone to the hospital. The mucous discharge could be your mucous plug. Beginning labor is like cramping. If you feel the need to go "#2" that is the baby coming.

Best of luck!

It sounds like you are in labor. The mucky discharge is probably your mucus plug. It is released before you go into labor. I would definetly call you Dr. right away he/she may want you to go right to the hospital to get checked out. I have 3 boys and each one was different. Good luck
A. N.

What's the news? I know you were in labor so I'm sure you're probably at the hospital now w/ a new little baby girl.
Let us know! Oh and Congrats!!!


Have you called your doctor? When I was ready to have my first born I felt like I needed to have a BM so I kept getting up in the middle of the night and it was actually that my labor had started. It took a long time for this baby to finally come, like 12 hours or more.

This may not be your first baby but each child is different.
I will be praying for you. Chita

Umm....sounds like early labor!!! Congradulations! I had what felt like the worse cramps about a week before my water broke and had to get up and walk around. She will come when she's ready! Good Luck! How exciting.

go to the hospital or call the dr. Good luck

I hope your bags are packed. It sounds like you're ready. The mucky discharge could be your mucous plug.

Good luck.

Sounds like you've lost your mucus plug. I know when I went into labor I had cramps such as yours and felt like I had to go #2, it was labor. I would call you doctor.

That sounds like contractions to me. I would call your dr. and tell them, or better yet go to the hospital. Feeling the need to go #2 is the need to push, which to me sounds like you are starting to go into labor. I would go now!
Good Luck!!

Hi A.,

It DEFINITELY sounds like you're going into labor. I would go ahead & call your doctor right away & let them know. They may tell you to begin timing your contractions & head out to the hospital until you reach 5 minutes apart OR they may tell you to head out now, since you're already 40 weeks.

The reason I'm telling you this is because that is exactly how I went into labor. I awoke one morning around 3am with menstrual cramps & I think I even had to do #2 later also. Everything you're describing sounds just like what I experienced. The cramping came & went, but I can tell you that it never went away. The other thing was that I had bad lower back pain, which was what really woke me up to begin with, then the menstrual like cramping followed immediately.

Once I called my OBGYN's office, they told me that I was in labor & to begin timing my contractions. Once they reached 5 min.'s apart, to call them immediately & head out to the hospital. I would say this lasted about the entire day (I was soooo uncomfortable!!!) & by 2-3pm in the afternoon I was told that I was in active labor!

However, with me, I was in labor an entire day & evening & didn't give birth until the next day around 5pm!!!!! My doctor wasn't too happy with the on-call doctor sending me home the previous night, even though I was still having contractions!!!!

So, yes, call your OBGYN & tell them that you may be in labor. Good luck & keep me posted. Congratulations on your baby girl!!!! How sweet. :)


It definitely sounds like labor. Hopefully the baby is born. Pls keep me posted if you need any help.
God Bless you and your little one.


Hi There---

it sounds like you are going in to labor. Especially if they menstrual like cramps go away when you get up. I was not fortunate enough to start laboring at home instead I was induced. But I remember once my contractions started coming they were veryemnstrual like. The fact that you are having some discharge sounds to me like you are losing your mucus plug. I wouldn't worry unless you start seeing blood when you wipe bc that means that you are getting ready to get that baby out.
I would definitely call your doctor and describe to him/her exactly what is goign on. You also might want to try and time your "cramps" to see how far apart they are. I would also get your hospital bag ready and a baby sitter on call in case your husband has to take you to the hospital shortly. good luck!

might be early labor or "practice" contractions. worth a call to your OB at least by sunlight, if not sooner.

not an OB, btw, just remember that stage pretty well. :-)

Blessings to your whole growing family.

Time them! If they are regular, you are in labor honey! If they stop or are irregular, it is most likely braxton hicks, but really braxton hicks usually don't feel the need to poop or like menstrual cramps- they are more of an abdominal tighting or at least that is how mine were.

I would bet you are in the early stages of labor. Within the day, I bet they became more intense and regular and don't go away when you move. How exciting (and scary)! I would call and let everyone know what is going on (dr, hubby, family and friends).

Good luck and Congrats~

It definitely sounds like your close. The cramps are definitely your uterus doing it's job, and from my experience happens a lot stronger when lying down. Your baby feels this and works with the pressure he's feeling. All of this is a beautiful orchestra designed by God to make the most of every contraction. The best thing is to get as much rest as possible. All this does take an effect on your other organs and your body is going to "clean out" EVERYTHING! This is a great sign. He's probably dropped and you're really close! The clear muscousy discharge is probably your mucous plug. I did have my baby at home and it was wonderful, but a lot of research and planning was done in advance.
Best wishes, just relax and let your body work! I would probably start timing your contractions, from the begining of one to the begining of the next. If they start getting close to 5 mins for a length of time I would definitely call someone!

That's what my labor felt like. Maybe it's time to go to the hospital. If the contractions aren't close enough together, you can always take a warm bath/shower. THat should hopefully speed it up or stop it all together.


SOUNDS LIKE LABOR TO ME! My friend went through the same thing and 4 hours later after I took her in I was standing through my first c-section! Call your husband and go better safe than sorry!

Good luck!

You probably lost your plug and should call your doctor. It may be false labor, but the hospital will tell you when you get there and send you home if so. Even labor with my second took 18 hours, so I wouldn't worry to much. Did you have a docotors appointment yesteday. Mine always schedules one on my due date just in case the baby isn't here yet.

Please go to the doc asap just to be safe. I wont tell you my reasoning behind this as I dont want to scare you but just go into the doc that way you know if its braxton hicks, actual labor, etc.

Do a "self-check". Some women are scared to do this, but it's a pretty good indicator of how close you are. The nurses do it and they can't feel what they're doing, you can, which makes it much safer. Insert your finger (as if it were a tampon). If you hit something hard (the baby's head) before you run out of finger, it's time to go to the hospital! (you won't break your own water unless it's ready to break anyway or you have a VERY sharp jagged fingernail. And you won't hurt the baby's head, just think of when the Dr. checks you, they push pretty hard!)

Just a thought! :) Best of luck with your delivery and recovery!

Hi! Well my daughter is 6 months so I remember my labor like it was yesterday. Mine started off as menstral cramps too but they weren't a regular pattern. Just keep track of them and if they are 5 mins apart 1 minute in duration and 1 hour long that is a good sign your in active labor. If nothing else go to the hospital and let them monitor you for a few hours to see if you are indeed in labor. Let us know the outcome! Good Luck! :)

Sounds like your starting to go into labor girl!! Call your doc if you haven't already. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First, if you are still home, call your doctor. It's 3:15 PM, I'd bet you are in labor by now.

It sounds as though your body is getting ready to have the baby especially since you are having a discharge and mild cramping and pressure. You may have this baby quicker than you planned -- get your bag ready to go. S.

Have you called your doctor? If not, call and you might be told to go to the hospital and have them check your status. With my first child, I did not have painful contractions but rather the "cramping" you say you are experiencing and I didn't "feel" like I was in labor. I went to the hospital at 3am and at 12:36pm we had our baby girl. Very exciting and so wonderful since I didn't experience any pain.
Good luck!

You need to call you doctor to let her know! I know I ended up in the emergency room several times with premature (but yours are term) contractions due to dehydration. Drink lotsa water, call your MD, and dont worry you wont have the baby at the house! If you do, call me, Im just around the corner - just kidding - I havent delivered a baby in 12 years!

good luck!


Sounds like labor to me. My labor was just like cramping. Please go to hospital or doctor immediately for a check. Good luck! :)


it sounds like you are in labor


Get to your doctor. Sounds like labor to me. God Bless.

What you're feeling could be Braxton Hicks (practice contractions). Believe me, you'll know when you are in labor because the pains will get closer together and increasingly more painful. It may also be gas or if you're avoiding bowel movements. If you feel you need to go #2, then go ahead. Diarreah is common closer to your due date, it's just another thing your body does to prepare for delivery. Don't worry about pushing the baby out if you do go #2, that won't happen. It's not that easy to push the baby out. Just relax and pay attention to your body, it'll tell you what it needs. Congrats and I hope for an easy labor for you!

Sounds to me like your body is getting ready to have a baby!!! Everything you are experiencing is completely normal. Just try to relax, I know easier said than done! Anyway, congratulations and good luck!!!

I'd suggest you call your OB at a minimum. When I was pregnant, I was told that labor would feel like menstrual cramps. Since you've already had one child, I'm sure you know as well as I do the various stages of labor. I remember distinctly that my favorite thing to do when in labor was sit on the commode. Take care!

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