Flu Like Symptoms Before Labor: What to Look Out For

Becoming a mother is an amazing and life-changing time for women. As the due date gets closer, mothers-to-be are excited to meet their babies but are also getting ready for the physical and mental challenges. During this crucial time, some women may feel like they have the flu, making them wonder if it’s just a chance or a sign that labor is coming soon.

The phenomenon of experiencing flu like symptoms before labor is a topic of curiosity and concern for many soon-to-be mothers. Some common signs are tiredness, body aches, nausea, headaches, and a mild fever. This strange link between flu-like symptoms and labor has intrigued pregnant women and doctors. This has led to a search for answers and a better understanding of what might happen inside a woman’s body as she prepares to give birth.

In this piece, we’ll talk about the interesting link between flu-like symptoms and labour. We’ll look at possible reasons for this and explain what pregnant women can expect during this time. We’ll talk about the signs that could mean labour is starting, how flu-like symptoms might affect this, and when it’s time to go to the hospital.

It is important to note that every woman’s pregnancy journey is unique, and while some may experience flu-like symptoms before labour, others may not. Still, pregnant women who know these signs can go through their pregnancies with more confidence and knowledge. By taking the mystery out of this time before labour, we hope to give expectant mothers the information and understanding they need to face this important time in their lives with confidence and peace of mind.

So, let’s start this investigation into the link between flu-like symptoms and labour. This will help us discover the secrets of pregnancy’s last stages and prepare for the miraculous birth of a new life.

What happens during labour?

During labour, a woman’s body goes through several changes that prepare her to give birth to her baby. It is a complicated and changing process, usually in three stages: the first, second, and third.

First Stage of Labor

The first stage lasts the longest and has three different parts: early labor, active labor, and transition. It starts with regular contractions and the cervix getting thinner and opening up (cervical dilation) over time. During the early stages of labor, contractions may be milder and happen more often. As labor moves into the active phase, the contractions get stronger, happen more often, and last longer. This makes the pain feel stronger. This is when the cervix continues to open until it is fully open, which usually takes about 10 centimeters. During the final stretch before pushing, the contractions get very strong and happen more often during the transition phase.

Second Stage of Labor

Once the cervix is fully opened, the second stage starts. During this time, the baby is born. The mother strongly desires to push as the baby moves down the birth canal. During this stage, the number of contractions may temporarily slow down, giving the mother time to rest between pushes. With each contraction, the uterus’ natural movements aid the mother’s pushing down on her child. At some point, the baby’s head and then the rest of their body come out.

Third Stage of Labor

The baby is born at the start of the third stage, and the placenta comes out at the end. After the baby is born, the mother will continue to have light contractions as the placenta is separated from the uterus and pushed out. This time is short and usually doesn’t require much work from the mother. Healthcare workers closely monitor the mother’s health and may help her deliver the placenta safely.

What causes flu-like symptoms before labor?

Some women have said they felt like they had the flu before entering labour, but no one knows why this happens. There are a few reasons why these signs might show up:

Hormonal Changes

As the body prepares for birth, hormone levels change significantly in the last few months of pregnancy. These hormone changes can weaken the immune system and cause flu-like symptoms like tiredness, body aches, and mild fever.


As labour gets closer, the body makes more prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like chemicals that help the uterus contract. Prostaglandins can also cause inflammation in the body, like when you have a viral illness. This inflammatory reaction could cause flu-like symptoms like body aches and feeling sick.

Immune System

During pregnancy, the immune system changes to protect the mother and the growing baby. The immune system starts to work harder as the due date gets closer. This can cause flu-like symptoms as the body reacts to the increased immune reaction.

Pre-labor Signs

Sometimes, flu-like symptoms before labour indicate that the body is getting ready for birth. These symptoms can be signs of early labour, meaning the body prepares for contractions and gives birth.

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

The duration of flu-like symptoms before labour can vary from woman to woman. Some women may experience these symptoms for a few hours or a day, while others may have them for several days before labour. In some cases, flu-like symptoms can even come and go intermittently in the days or weeks before labour begins.

It’s important to note that flu-like symptoms alone may not necessarily indicate the immediate onset of labour. Numerous factors, such as hormonal changes, immune system responses, or unrelated viral infections, can cause these symptoms. Therefore, pregnant women must pay attention to the overall pattern of symptoms and consult with their healthcare providers for a proper assessment.

If you experience flu-like symptoms before labour, it’s advisable to track the frequency and intensity of contractions, any changes in vaginal discharge, or any other signs that may indicate the progression of labour. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to contact your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and receive appropriate guidance based on your situation.

Remember that each pregnancy is unique, and the timeline and duration of flu-like symptoms can vary. Trust your instincts, stay in close communication with your healthcare provider, and follow their advice to ensure your and your baby’s well-being.

What flu-like symptoms do you experience before labor?

Flu-like symptoms before labor may appear different for each person, but here are some of the most common ones:


A common issue is feeling too tired or worn out after enough rest. The body is going through changes and getting ready for labour, which can make you feel more tired.

Body aches

Some women may notice that their muscles are sore and their whole body hurts before labour. These pains can feel like the pains you get when you have the flu.


Some women may feel sick or even throw up before labour. This condition can feel like morning sickness in the first few weeks of pregnancy.


Tension headaches or migraines are two types of headaches that can happen before labour. Hormonal changes or more worry may be to blame for these headaches.

Mild fever

Some women have a mild fever (generally below 100.4°F or 38°C) before they give birth. It is important to remember that anyone with a high or prolonged fever should see a doctor right away to rule out other infections.

Increased contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions

Before real labour starts, some women may have contractions that are stronger or happen more often. These contractions, often called “Braxton Hicks contractions,” can feel like the uterus tightening and relaxing as it does during labour.


Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about flu-like symptoms before labor, along with their answers:

Can flu-like symptoms before labor indicate that I am going into labor soon? 

Flu-like symptoms alone may not necessarily indicate immediate labor. While some women experience flu-like symptoms before labor, it’s important to pay attention to other signs of labor progression, such as regular contractions, changes in vaginal discharge, or the breaking of the water. Contact your healthcare provider if your concerns or symptoms are severe.

What can I do to alleviate flu-like symptoms before labor? 

It’s important to rest and take care of yourself during this time. Stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and try relaxation techniques like deep breathing or gentle exercises. If you have body aches or headaches, try warm compresses, mild stretches or speak to your healthcare provider about safe pain relief options. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any medications or using home remedies.

When should I seek medical attention for flu-like symptoms before labor? 

While flu-like symptoms before labor are generally considered normal, there are situations where it’s important to seek medical attention. Contact your healthcare provider if you have a high fever (above 100.4°F or 38°C), persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, significant changes in fetal movement, or any other concerning symptoms. They can evaluate your condition and provide appropriate guidance.

Can I prevent or avoid flu-like symptoms before labor? 

It may not be possible to completely prevent flu-like symptoms before labor, as they can be a natural part of the body’s preparation process. However, taking care of your overall health by eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and getting adequate rest can help support your immune system and potentially minimize the severity of symptoms.

Are flu-like symptoms before labor a sign of COVID-19? 

Flu-like symptoms before labor can have various causes, including hormonal changes, immune system responses, or unrelated viral infections. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it’s important to consider other factors, such as exposure to illness or local COVID-19 prevalence. If you suspect you may have COVID-19, contacting your healthcare provider for testing and guidance is recommended.

Read More: Can Cinnamon Cause a Miscarriage?

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