Top 13 Things That Prevent Labor From Starting You Should Know

It’s not once in a blue moon when a mom experiences no signs of labor when the due date approaches. What are things that prevent labor from starting? There are 13 main reasons.

Here, I analyze them in detail so you’ll get the big picture of what can get in the way and stop the baby from coming out. Without further ado, let’s get to the points!

13 Things That Prevent Labor From Starting

things that prevent labor from starting

The baby not being ready, problems with the placenta, or the body not producing the right signals are some things that delay labor.

Besides, stress and health issues can also play a role.

However, you should not guess the reasons but leave the job for expertise. Doctors are the ones who can figure out and manage these factors for a safe birth.

Here are details of the reasons that might lead to the labor not starting as it should.

Premature Rupture Of Membranes (PROM)

What prevents labor from progressing? PROM!

In a detailed manner, a baby inside the mother’s womb is surrounded by the amniotic sac.

Sometimes, before the due date, this sac breaks open, called a Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM).

The amniotic sac helps with contractions, which are the squeezing motions of the womb that help push the baby out during birth, which causes labor to start.

But if the amniotic sac breaks too early, labor might not start or start too early when the baby isn’t fully prepared to come out.

Healthcare professionals are very watchful with early water breaks. They will wait a while to see if labor starts naturally and everything seems okay.

If not, they might need to help labor begin or decide the best way to care for the baby until it’s ready to be born.

Cervical Insufficiency

Sometimes, the cervix opens too soon during pregnancy, leading to cervical insufficiency. Several reasons can lead to this issue. For example, surgeries on the cervix might weaken it.

Infections, inflammation, or issues with the structure of the cervix can also play a role.

When the cervix opens too early, it can put the pregnancy at risk and might prevent labor from starting when it should.

To check this, doctors might use a transvaginal ultrasound or look for a protein called fetal fibronectin. In some cases, vaginal progesterone or cervical stitches are used to prevent this.

Infections or Illness

What can delay labour starting? Infections or illnesses are to blame. They can interfere with the start of labor.

These health issues can make the body focus on fighting the infection instead of beginning labor.

Doctors ensure proper treatment and specialized care to address these conditions and give the best chance for labor to begin.

Maternal Health Issues

Certain health problems the mother has, like chronic health conditions, can delay labor. High blood pressure or diabetes might disrupt the body’s readiness for labor.

Healthcare professionals work to manage these conditions to encourage normal labor onset and healthy delivery.

Fetal Health Issues

stopping contractions

If the baby isn’t doing well in the womb, the body might put labor off. This can happen if the baby is in a risky position or there’s an infant health crisis.

Doctors monitor the baby’s well-being and ensure it’s safe to start labor for a healthy delivery.

Stress and Anxiety

Feeling stressed or anxious can slow down labor. Being in these states, your brain releases hormones that might prevent the body from entering active labor.

One of these hormones is called adrenaline. It makes the heart beat faster and prepares the body to run or fight.

But when it’s time for the baby to come out, the body needs to be calm and relaxed to start labor. Adrenaline and other stress hormones can interfere with this process.

Relaxation techniques, like a pregnancy massage or using a birth ball, can help calm the mind and encourage labor to begin.

Lack Of Adequate Nutrition

If the body doesn’t have enough nutrients, it might hold off on labor. Inadequate nutrition can make the body think it’s not the right time to give birth.

Therefore, please ensure a healthy pregnancy with proper nutrition to help the body feel ready to start labor.

 I suggest paying attention to foods packed with essential nutrients like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Proper eating is also a recommended approach suggested by doctors regarding how to avoid early labor.

Therefore, maintaining your energy levels prior to the big day tells your body that you’re prepared for the journey ahead.

Multiple Pregnancies

With more than one baby in the womb, like twins, labor can be different. Sometimes, the body might need more time to prepare for childbirth.

Moreover, the labor patterns might be different, too. In this case, doctors will monitor closely to decide when labor should begin.

Fetal Position

The way the baby is positioned can affect labor. If the baby isn’t in the right fetal position for birth, it might delay labor.

Healthcare professionals can sometimes guide the baby’s position or wait for the baby to naturally shift before starting labor.

Inadequate Hormonal Signals

Hormones play a big role in starting labor. Sometimes, the body doesn’t get the right signals to kick-start labor.

It can happen if there’s a problem with the hormones that trigger contractions to push the baby out.

Medical interventions might be used to encourage these hormones and start labor.

These treatments might involve giving the body synthetic versions of the missing hormones or assist the body in responding better to the signals it’s getting.

Unfavorable Cervical Conditions

The cervix needs to be all set for labor. If it’s not softening or opening enough, called cervical ripening, labor might not start.

Vaginal discharge or labor contractions can signal the cervix is getting ready. If not, doctors might use medical methods to help the cervix prepare.

Previous Cesarean Section

If a woman had a previous delivery through a C-section, it might influence how this labor starts.

Sometimes, the body needs more time to embrace childbirth after an earlier pregnancy with a C-section.

Healthcare professionals will consider this history when planning for the next birth.

Medical Interventions

Certain medical procedures or interventions like labor induction methods or using a birth plan can impact the onset of labor.

Healthcare professionals will carefully decide when and how to use these methods to ensure a safe and healthy delivery.


how to avoid early labor

Can Preterm Labor Be Stopped At 20 Weeks?

Yes. At 20 weeks of pregnancy, addressing preterm labor is possible with medical care. Timely attention to contractions and seeking help from doctors can help prevent preterm birth.

How To Keep Contractions Going In Early Labor?

In early labor, maintaining contractions can involve nipple stimulation or using a breast pump.

These methods might help keep labor progressing while still ensuring medical supervision. Besides, you can try:

  • focus on staying hydrated
  • resting
  • gentle movement
  • warm baths
  • deep breathing
  • massages

Stay relaxed and consider staying home until contractions become more consistent. If concerned, contact your healthcare provider.

Why Do I Have No Signs Of Labor?

Not showing signs of labor at certain weeks pregnant is normal. If you are past the due date or experiencing unusual symptoms, consult your doctor.

If concerned any time, I recommend you monitor your blood pressure and seek medical advice.

Can Lying Down Slow Labor?

Yes, it is possible. Lying down might slow labor progress. Being upright can help contractions.

When dealing with preterm labor, medical care is vital to ensure both baby and mother are safe.

How Can One Effectively Go About Stopping Contractions To Prevent Premature Labor?

To prevent premature labor if contractions arise, medical care is crucial. Techniques like nipple stimulation under medical supervision could help.

Quick action can prevent preterm birth and support premature babies.


For those anticipating the arrival of children, knowing things that prevent labor from starting helps us be prepared. 

Whether we’re talking about the mother, the medical professionals, or those supporting the expectant mother, having a grasp of these aspects ensures that everything is in order when the baby is set to come.

May everything conclude positively for the mother and baby, as you deserve.

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