How Long After Lightening Does Labor Start (And Why)?

How Long After Lightening Does Labor Start (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2-4 Weeks

Pregnancy is truly one of the most beautiful moments for most females and going-to-be mothers. Well, people would think that pregnancy means just giving birth to a young one(s) but they are far more complicated than that.

First of all, a female’s body goes through a lot of changes as soon as they become pregnant. Even after spending several weeks, there are certain stages that a mother has to go through. One of the stages is lightening which occurs to pregnant mothers just before 2-4 weeks before their labor starts. The baby when lowers down in the mother’s pelvis then this process is known as lightening. Lightening can also be called dropping.

How Long After Lightening Does Labor Start

How Long After Lightening Does Labor Start?

Dropping or lightening occursDuring the end of the third trimester
Is dropping or lightening a good sign?It is not a good predictor of when labor will begin.

Lightening occurs 2-4 weeks before the delivery of the child. However, for most women, this process can happen much earlier. Mothers who had children earlier than the baby may not drop until the labor process starts.

In some females lightening or dropping could mean their first sign of labor. There are certain changes that the mother experiences after this process happens. Things like easiness to breathe, change in the shape of your abdomen, and other such kinds of things.

In case, when your body is going through the lightening phase and you notice that you are having some pain like contracting, backache, and leaking of fluid then this might be the sign that you might be in labor.

Labor pain

Some women can feel pelvic pain whenever they go through the lightening process. And, above all your abdomen’s shape will most likely change after the lightening process. You should also know that the baby’s head is the first part to enter into your pelvis and then your baby is said to be engaged.

It is best that you stay under a doctor’s guidance all the time and it would also be great if you are staying at the hospital before your delivery period. This way the doctor will have the chance to keep monitoring you from time to time.

Why Does It Take That Long For Labor To Start After Lightening?

Once your baby has dropped then that means that within a few weeks you will start your labor. After the lightening has taken place your baby’s head will be pressing more on your cervix. Most women go into labor and it is during that time that lightening happens.

As soon as your baby reaches your cervix and it is then your cervix will be thinner and then you will begin your labor. The mucus plug will be released that had been blocking the cervical opening which is the indication of labor.

You should also know that for females who are becoming a mother for the first time then their lightening will occur 2-4 weeks before their labor. But, some women can experience it happen much earlier. As mentioned earlier that mothers who had children earlier than their baby might not drop until and unless their labor process begins.

Lightening labor

The position of your baby can change when you are in the second- trimester stage and there is a chance that the baby could do a complete turn from bottom-first to head-down, and back again. Whenever your labor begins or when your water breaks then you will feel a mild popping sensation and along with that a trickle of fluid that you cannot stop.


In the end, the whole nine months is worth the wait because if you have taken care of yourself and the baby then everything should be fine. However, it is best that you keep and maintain a healthy lifestyle even after the delivery of your baby.

Your body will keep changing even after giving birth so it is important to keep your doctor one call away in case of an emergency. There is nothing to worry about because most changes that your body has to go through are all- natural processes and you should let them happen.

You should take a rest for two weeks after the birth of your baby and then you are good to continue with your daily household chores.


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23 thoughts on “How Long After Lightening Does Labor Start (And Why)?”

  1. I’m glad this article covers the changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy and labor.

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