Flu-like Symptoms Before Labor? Should You Be Worried?

Being pregnant can be an exciting time in life but it can also be scary and overwhelming. This is especially true when it is your first pregnancy. Your body is going through changes that it has never experienced before. 

You probably have so many questions and feel overwhelmed by all there is to learn about pregnancy and taking care of a newborn. It is common to get a lot of advice from friends, family, and even strangers when you are pregnant. 

You could receive advice on all types of topics from what shoes you should wear to when you should sleep. The media also likes to chime in and give advice on an array of pregnancy topics and recommended products. Please know that everyone is different and what works for one person may not always work for another. 

You should never take medical advice from just anyone. Healthcare professionals go through rigorous schooling, clinical hours, and further education to learn about their specialties. They are trained to implement evidence-based practices to help their patients. This means that they use methods and treatments that have been proven to work through research studies. 

During pregnancy, you should be seeing your OB-GYN healthcare provider for regularly scheduled appointments. It is important to have a good relationship with your healthcare providers so that you feel comfortable asking them any questions or concerns you may have. During your pregnancy journey, you may hear about flu-like symptoms or sickness before labor. 

Let’s dive deeper into this topic but remember to consult with your healthcare provider with any pregnancy questions or concerns. This article is not a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. 

What Causes Flu-Like Symptoms Before Labor?

Some women say that they experience flu-like symptoms such as congestion, cough, and fatigue a few weeks before going into labor. There is no readily available scientific research on why this happens so there is no definite answer to why this occurs. 

The immunology of pregnancy is not well understood but it is known that a woman’s immune system goes through changes during pregnancy. According to MedlinePlus, it is more difficult for a woman to fight off infections while pregnant which means that pregnant women are at greater risk of the flu and other illnesses. 

The flu-like symptoms that some women may experience before giving birth may be due to the changes in the immune system during pregnancy, these immune system changes could make it easier to get sick. 

How Long Do You Have Flu-Like Symptoms Before Labor?

There is no concrete answer to this question. Everyone has a unique medical history, conditions, and genetics. If you are feeling sick you should contact your healthcare provider. It is important to prioritize your health, especially during pregnancy. Some illnesses could affect the fetus. 

What Flu-Like Symptoms Do You Experience Before Labor?

Symptoms of the flu that you could experience include fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

How Soon After Flu-Like Symptoms Does Labor Start?

There is no research to accurately answer this question. Everyone’s body and medical history are different. There is no way to determine exactly when someone will go into labor. 

What Are the 7 Signs and Symptoms of Labor?

Every woman’s labor and delivery journey is different. Not every woman will experience these signs and symptoms of oncoming labor. You could experience all, some, or none of them. According to the American Pregnancy Association, signs and symptoms of labor that a woman could experience include, 

1. Lightening 

This is described as the feeling that the fetus has dropped lower into the pelvis and is getting into position for labor. This could happen several weeks before labor. 

2. Bloody Show or Loss of the Mucus Plug

Bloody show or the loss of the mucus plug is when a small amount of blood and/or mucus is released from the vagina. This indicates that the cervix is beginning to relax.

3. Water Breaking

The water breaks when the amniotic sac ruptures. This could be sudden or gradual. If your water breaks you should notify your OB-GYN healthcare provider immediately. 

4. Nesting

Nesting refers to a burst of energy or motivation a woman may experience before going into labor. This energy is usually focused towards getting things done before the baby arrives.  

5. Effacement

Effacement is a medical term for when the cervix stretches and thins. This is a sign that the uterus is preparing for delivery. 

6. Dilation

This happens when the cervix begins to open. It will be measured in centimeters and is determined by your OB-GYN healthcare provider. 

7. Consistent Contractions

Having consistent contractions is the best indication of being in labor. If you are experiencing contractions you should time how far apart they are. Call your OB-GYN healthcare if you are experiencing constant contractions. They will give you further instructions on what you should do.  

When to See a Doctor?

During pregnancy, you should be seeing your OB-GYN healthcare provider regularly. If you experience any sickness, unusual symptoms, or signs of labor you should call your OB-GYN provider immediately. 

If they believe you just have a “cold” or the flu they will most likely refer you to your primary healthcare provider. If there is something more going on they may ask you to come in for an appointment or go to the emergency room. 

It is extremely important to prioritize your health during pregnancy. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any pregnancy questions or concerns. This article is not a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. 

Get Help From an Online Doctor

For any pregnancy-related concerns, you should consult with your OB-GYN healthcare provider. Speak with them first to see what they recommend. In some circumstances, they may refer you to your primary healthcare provider. 

Check with your OB-GYN to see if they recommend seeing a telehealth doctor. If you see any healthcare providers during your pregnancy you must inform them that you are pregnant. Some certain medications and treatments are not recommended for women who are pregnant. 

Technology has now allowed patients to connect with healthcare providers quicker than ever before. At DrHouse you can connect with a board-certified online doctor in as little as 15 minutes. This is convenient when it comes to getting medical treatment faster. 

With DrHouse you could see a clinician in less time than it takes you to cook a meal or take a shower. You won’t even have to leave your house. This will save you time and allow you to get quick treatment for your symptoms and medical concerns.

Key Takeaways

Some women claim that they experience flu-like symptoms such as congestion, cough, and fatigue a few weeks before going into labor. There is no readily available scientific research on why some women experience these symptoms before labor so there is no definite answer to why it happens. It is thought that it may be due to the changes in the immune system during pregnancy, these immune system changes could make it easier to get sick.

If you experience any sickness, unusual symptoms, or signs of labor you should call your OB-GYN provider immediately. It is extremely important to prioritize your health during pregnancy. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any pregnancy questions or concerns. This article is not a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. 

Sources:

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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