Preterm Labor: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

If you’re 37 weeks pregnant and are experiencing diarrhea and cramping, you’re probably wondering if it’s something to worry about. While the experience may be uncomfortable, it’s important to understand what may be causing the issue and how best to manage it. It’s important to understand that there are a few potential causes for diarrhea and cramping at 37 weeks pregnant and fortunately, these symptoms can be effectively managed. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the potential causes of diarrhea and cramping at 37 weeks pregnant, how to manage them, and when you should contact your healthcare provider.

How do you know if you’re in preterm labor?

It’s important to learn the signs of preterm labor. If you experience any of the following symptoms and they don’t go away within an hour, or if the pain is severe and persistent, call your healthcare provider right away:

  • Four or more contractions (or tightening and relaxing of the muscles in your uterus) in one hour that don’t go away after changing your position or relaxing.
  • Regular tightening or low, dull pain in your back that either comes and goes or is constant (but isn’t relieved by changing positions or other comfort measures).
  • Lower abdominal cramping that might feel like gas pain (with or without diarrhea).
  • Increased pressure in your pelvis or vagina.
  • Persistent menstrual-like cramps.
  • Increased vaginal discharge or discharge that’s mucus-like or tinged pink.
  • Leaking of fluid from your vagina. This could be amniotic fluid.
  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Flu-like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
  • Decreased fetal movements (if you don’t feel at least six movements in one hour).
  • Braxton Hicks contractions are a type of practice contraction that can help you get ready for the real deal. When you rest or change positions, real contractions become more painful, closer together, and continue. To be certain that what you feel is a contraction, speak with your healthcare provider if you are unsure.

    Many factors can contribute to preterm labor. Some are within your control, while others aren’t.

    The following three risk factors increase your likelihood of going into early labor:

  • You’ve had a premature baby in the past.
  • You’re pregnant with twins, triplets or more.
  • You have a problem or had a problem in the past with your uterus, cervix or vagina.
  • You experienced vaginal bleeding throughout your pregnancy.
  • You’re pregnant via IVF.
  • You’re pregnant with a baby suspected of having a congenital disability.
  • Short spacing between pregnancies.
  • You’re younger than 17 or older than 35.
  • You’re Black.
  • Lack of prenatal care.
  • You’re underweight or overweight before pregnancy.
  • You don’t gain enough weight during pregnancy.
  • You consume a poor diet.
  • You smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or use illegal drugs.
  • You have a physically demanding job where you stand for several hours a day or work long hours.
  • You’re highly stressed or anxious.
  • You’re exposed to teratogens like chemicals, lead, radiation or other harmful substances.
  • Your healthcare provider diagnoses preterm labor by examining your cervix. You might be in preterm labor if your cervix is effaced (thin) and dilated (open). Along with a pelvic examination, your doctor might also do the following:

  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound can help determine the size of the fetus and its position in your uterus and check for problems with the placenta or with your amniotic fluid.
  • Monitor contractions: Your provider may hook you up to a monitor that measures your contractions.
  • Fetal fibronectin test: Your provider takes a sample of your vaginal fluid to check for fetal fibronectin. This is a protein that helps the amniotic sac stick to your uterus. If it’s in your discharge, it could mean labor has begun.
  • What you need to know about diarrhea before labor

    Try to accept that diarrhea is a common and typical symptom of the prelabor period. Yes, it’s unpleasant, but it could also bring the day you meet your child closer.

    You may experience any (or all) of the following signs of labor as you approach the end of your pregnancy, in addition to diarrhea:

    Can pushing too hard to poop cause labor?

    My friend, we have all been there. I’m completely blocked up, hoping for a poop to happen, but I’m also wondering how much I can push before going into labor.

    Straining on the toilet will not signal labor to start.

    Also put to rest is the concern over whether forcing a bowel movement will harm the baby; it most certainly won’t.

    The only thing you should be somewhat concerned about is getting hemorrhoids, which are rectum or anus veins that are swollen. Those are just as entertaining as lying on hot barbed wire.

    If constipation is becoming more than a minor annoyance, follow these steps:

    37 Weeks Pregnant Diarrhea And Cramping

  • Keep hydrated
  • Stay active
  • Eat a well rounded diet that focusses on fiber
  • You can also use an over the counter fiber supplement like Metamucil. Check in with your doctor before using any laxatives or supplements.


    Does diarrhea and stomach cramps mean labor is near?

    Loose stools or diarrhea can be a sign of impending labor caused by the release of hormones called prostaglandins, according to the Endocrine Society. 2 Having the runs a day or two before labor starts also is the body’s way of emptying the bowels to allow the uterus to contract efficiently.

    How long after diarrhea and cramping does labor start?

    Loose bowel movements can happen 24–48 hours before labor. Nesting is a spurt of energy some women may experience before labor begins.

    What does it mean when your 37 weeks pregnant and have diarrhea?


    You may experience diarrhea at any time during your pregnancy. Changes in the diet, hormonal variances, or your prenatal vitamin could lead to diarrhea. If you are nearing your due date, though, looser stools than usual may be a sign that labor is just around the corner.

    Do contractions feel like diarrhea cramps?

    Labor contractions cause discomfort or a dull ache in your back and lower abdomen, along with pressure in the pelvis. Some women might also feel pain in their sides and thighs. Some women describe contractions as strong menstrual cramps, while others describe them as strong waves that feel like diarrhea cramps.

    Is it common to get diarrhea before labor?

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