Jeremiah refers to the terrors of the tribulation, and the wrath of God, as the birth pangs (Jer. 30:6-7). The tribulation is like a "woman in childbirth" and it is also called "Jacob's distress." Jesus refers to it in Matthew 24:8: "The beginning of the birth pangs." As well, Paul calls it "the birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (1 Thess. 5:3).
Dr. Lacy Couch was able to make this expression make sense. Just before the delivery takes place every woman goes through the contractions leading up to the coming forth of the baby. No woman escapes these contractions. The muscles contract, they "let go," and then contract again. This would be a "pre-delivery" that all women feel. Applying this to the tribulation, or the wrath of God, there could be a series of pains that the world may feel before the full-blown tribulation arrives or takes place on the earth. Certain terrors will fall upon the world before the arrival of the seven-year tribulation itself takes place.
Who knows when that terrible day arrives on the world? Those who know their Bible will probably be sure when such events come upon us. And we could not be very far away from their arrivals. Everyone knows the world is just waiting for such happenings to fall upon the globe. --Dr. Mal Couch (3/12)