Is Diarrhoea a Sign of Labour: Facts & Symptoms to Check

Is Diarrhoea a Sign of Labour?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Priyanka Kalra (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

The closer you get to your big day, the more you will think about what to expect regarding your labour. If it’s your pregnancy, you will want to know all the possible signs of impending labour. Each woman is different and so will be their labour patterns, but then there are some common telltale signs of labour that remain the same for all women. One such sign that indicates that soon your baby will be on the way is diarrhea before labor or pre-labour diarrhoea. But could it be true? Let’s find out!

Is Diarrhoea a Sign of Labour?

Is Diarrhoea a Sign of Labour?

Yes, diarrhoea is a sign of labour and happens in the case of active labour when the baby is preparing to come out. You may experience diarrhoea close to labour.

What Causes Pre-Labour Diarrhoea?

Doctors usually say that pre-labour diarrhoea is nature’s way of preparing to create the room needed to give birth to a baby. When a woman’s body releases prostaglandins, a type of hormone-like substance that causes the uterus to dilate and expand to accommodate the birthing of the baby, that’s when she experiences pre-labour diarrhoea.

How Long Can You Have Diarrhea Before Going Into Labor?

Diarrhea before labour will occur about 24-48 hours early.

Facts You Should Know

You may experience a lot of symptoms from menstrual cramps, water breaking, heartburn, back pain and a warm feeling in your abdomen before labour. Despite the pain, these are good indicators that you are very close to giving birth and meeting your little one. Diarrhoea is a completely natural part of pregnancy and although unpleasant, is a positive indication of things moving in the right direction.

Nesting or a sudden surge of energy is an experience most mothers go through before giving birth to their babies. If you suddenly clean the house, prep meals and start working on things to prepare for the arrival of your baby, then that’s a good sign.

Additionally, you may also experience a bout of diarrhoea which is a major indicator of impending labour. Labour nears when you start noticing a bloody show, which is when your mucus plug comes off and you notice a bloody smear near the cervix. If you experience water breaking anytime soon, you can rest assured that labour is just a few hours away.

What Can You Do If You Experience Diarrhoea Before Labour?

Here’s what you can do if you experience diarrhoea in the last leg of your pregnancy and before impending labour.

  1. Eat small but frequent meals to continue providing nutrition to your body. Avoid, dairy, fibre-rich foods and anything that’s acidic. Try to take semi-solids or liquids only.
  2. Stay hydrated. Dehydration can be a cause of false labour, so it’s important to keep drinking water until the time of labour.
  3. Stay near the bathroom since you’ll be making quite a few trips to it before your baby comes out
  4. Avoid taking anti-diarrhoea medications since it may affect the labour and birthing of the baby.

When Should You Consult a Doctor?

You should consult your gynaecologist immediately in the following cases:

  • If you have pain in the lower abdomen or have back pain. Make sure to note down the time when pain occurs and notice the intervals between them. If the intervals are reducing and the pain is increasing in intensity, talk to the doctor.
  • If you are vomiting along with experiencing diarrhoea, it could be a sign of stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis. Visit a doctor immediately in this case.


1. Can Diarrhea Be a Sign of Labor at 37 Weeks of Pregnancy?

Wondering is diarrhea a sign of labor at 37 weeks? Well, it can be. But it can also mean your stomach is feeling off or you ate a lot of greasy/spicy food.

2. Is Watery Diarrhea a Sign of Labor?

Watery diarrhea before labor can be an early sign, but it’s not a definitive indicator on its own.

As the time of active labour nears, make sure to stay calm, be happy, and don’t worry too much and let your body do its thing. We recommend you chew on soft pieces of bread or have a warm bowl of soup or a cup of tea in case you feel nauseated or experience diarrhoea.


1. Warning Signs During Pregnancy;;

2. How Soon After Having Loose Bowels Did You Go Into Labor?;;

3. Signs and symptoms of preterm labor;;

4. Preterm Labor;;

5. Pregnancy – labour;;

Also Read:

True Labour vs False Labour
Castor Oil for Inducing Labour
Stages of Labour during Vaginal Delivery
Unexpected Things That Happen during Labour

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