Flu-like Symptoms Before Labor—5 Best Remedies To Help You Out

Flu-like Symptoms Before Labor

Experiencing flu-like symptoms in your third trimester, close to your due date, can send off warning bells in your head. 

You wonder if your runny nose, slight cough, sore throat, sneezing, and slight body pain mean you’re getting sick and will have to deliver a baby with the flu or diminished immune system.

While it is possible that your flu-like symptoms are indeed the flu and you are close to your due date, these symptoms could be subtle signs of labor.

The Nourished Bump - Pregnancy Nutrition Course

Flu-like symptoms before labor

Many pregnant women experience flu-like symptoms before labor starts. 

Symptoms before labor may include runny nose, sore throat, lower back pain, body aches, a cough, loose bowel movements, or diarrhea.

These flu symptoms often come while the body is preparing for labor. So if you feel sick and are a pregnant woman in the final weeks of pregnancy, you may want to make sure that you have your hospital bag packed and your birth plan ready.

How long after flu-like symptoms does labor start?

Pregnant women in their third trimester may experience symptoms before labor that mimic the flu or a cold. It’s normal and a great way to tell you you’re not far from early labor and that the baby’s birth is near.

This is due to hormones shifting to prepare for the delivery of your baby. 

Flu-like symptoms before labor typically start a few days before contractions begin. Common signs include body aches and pains, a mild cough, fatigue, headache, stuffy nose, sneezing, and other flu-like symptoms.

Let the waiting game begin

Much like the bloody show, which can occur as your body prepares for labor and the baby’s head travels downward into the birth canal, not all women who have flu-like symptoms before labor goes into labor within a few days.

It could be a few weeks, a few days, or even a few hours. This is a time to pay close attention to your body and be prepared for labor to start.

Flu-like symptoms before labor

What is the bloody show?

Light vaginal bleeding can occur as you lose your mucus plug towards the end of your pregnancy. Most women liken it to a glob of bloody discharge that they notice after they use the restroom and wipe. 

It’s a common sign that labor isn’t far off, but giving birth may not be in the immediate future.

Many women feel additional pressure to be prepared for delivery if they have flu-like symptoms and bloody discharge; however, pregnancy ends when the baby says it’s time. 

You cannot take these symptoms as accurate information that labor is absolutely imminent.

Having the flu when you go into labor

Pregnancy is a delicate time, and if you have the flu when you go into labor, you are at higher risk of complications and premature delivery. A high fever can be particularly dangerous and a trip to the emergency room is a must.

If you are worried about being ill with the flu, please consult your primary healthcare provider. Being sick when you’re pregnant means that your options for treatment may be limited, but your healthcare provider will do everything possible alleviate symptoms and get you healthy again, as well as give recommendations on how to improve your immune system.

How long were you nauseous before labor?

Much like nausea you may have experienced in the first trimester of pregnancy with morning sickness, you may feel stomach pain, diarrhea, food aversion, vomiting, and low energy associated with nausea during your third trimester as labor approaches.

Most women find this was likely to happen anywhere from hours to a week before going into labor. This is most likely due to your body trying to clean out your system for the pushing and stress of labor that you will be experiencing. In most cases, it’s normal.

If you have any cause for concern, contact your healthcare provider.

What does labor feel like?

Signs of labor typically include contractions, which feel like a tightness that covers your entire abdomen and pubic area. Regular contractions for a pregnant person five minutes apart mean that baby is on the way and you are about to go into labor.

You should contact your ob gyn healthcare provider or go to the hospital when contractions reach this point.

What does back labor feel like?

Pain in the lower back right above the hips and extending around the sides of your body are some sure signs of back labor pain.

The pain comes in rhythmic bursts, just like regular contractions. If you feel these, take it as a sign that you should head to labor and delivery. Your big day is here!

Flu-like Symptoms Before Labor

Home remedies for a cold during pregnancy

Illness can and does happen during pregnancy. 

If you are running a fever in the weeks before you are expected to deliver your child, you may be ill. A fever is a sign that your immune system is working, and your body is fighting an infection; and in the weeks before your delivery date, you may be right to be worried.

The following are some things you can do at home in the week or weeks leading up to delivery if you are truly ill.

1. Contact your doctor

Always seek the advice of a physician if you are ill. Your obstetrician can advise you based on your individual health needs, answer pregnancy questions you may have, and prescribe the appropriate interventions to help you get better faster to deliver your baby safely.

The Nourished Bump - Pregnancy Nutrition Course

2. Sip hot tea and soup

Keeping food down may be difficult, especially if your throat hurts. Drinking hot tea and sipping soup may help your symptoms and is usually more manageable for you to digest when you are ill.

3. Use a humidifier

If you don’t have a humidifier to break up any congestion you may be experiencing, try sitting in the bathroom with the door shut and the shower on. Run hot water to create steam to help you clear out your sinuses.

4. Hydrate

Hydration is incredibly important to your health, especially when sick. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily, so your body is well-hydrated to fight off the illness you’re dealing with.

5. Get lots of rest

Getting enough rest and sleep is vital to getting back to good health. In the week or so before delivery, you may experience a sudden burst of energy known as nesting

If you are ill, enlist help to get things done and organized before the baby arrives.


It’s normal to have symptoms that mimic illness shortly before you have your baby. The best thing to do is to pay close attention to your body and the signals it sends you so that you are ready when contractions start.

If you think that you may be ill or are running a fever, seek medical advice from your healthcare providers so that you can do everything possible to get better before you deliver.

You might Also like...

Subscribe to
receive your FREE
"58 Newborn Essentials"
Registry Guide