Signs of Labor - Contractions
Perhaps one of the best known signs of labor is contractions.
Braxton Hicks contractions are the mild irregular tightenings that you may have been aware of for many months. They are not painful although may be a little uncomfortable especially towards the end of your pregnancy.
With the start of labor, you may feel contractions like Braxton Hicks but stronger.
Real contractions are increasingly painful and occur at increasingly shorter intervals. They also become longer and stronger in intensity as time goes by, unlike Braxton Hicks.
If you think you may be having contractions it is a good idea to have a pen, paper and watch near at hand and you should make a note of the time each contraction begins, how long it lasts and how often they are occuring.
Once contractions are around 5 minutes apart you should phone maternity unit to say you'll be in shortly or your midwife if you're having a homebirth.
Real contractions do not stop when you get up and walk around, unlike Braxton Hicks. And real contractions can often take your breath away - you may find, even in the early stages of labor, that your breathing changes and you cannot talk throughout a real contraction.
Other Signs of Labor:
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