How Do I Know If It`s Real Contractions

As an expectant mother, it`s important to be able to recognize real contractions so you can determine when it`s time to head to the hospital. But how do you know if the contractions you`re feeling are the real deal or just Braxton Hicks contractions?

First, let`s define what contractions are. Contractions are the tightening and relaxing of the uterus as it prepares for labor. Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as practice contractions, are usually painless and irregular, while real contractions are regular and become more intense over time.

Here are some ways to tell if your contractions are real:

1. Timing: Real contractions will come at regular intervals and become closer together as labor progresses. Time the contractions from the start of one to the start of the next. If they are consistently five minutes or less apart for at least an hour, it`s time to go to the hospital.

2. Intensity: Real contractions will start off mild and gradually become more intense. You may feel a tightening or pressure in your lower abdomen that spreads to your back. As the contractions become more intense, you may find it difficult to talk or walk through them.

3. Duration: Real contractions will last longer than Braxton Hicks contractions. The contractions will typically last between 30 to 70 seconds and will occur at regular intervals.

4. Change in Position: Changing positions may help ease the discomfort of Braxton Hicks contractions, but real contractions will not go away no matter what position you`re in.

If you`re still unsure if you`re experiencing real contractions, try taking a warm bath or shower. Braxton Hicks contractions will typically subside, while real contractions will continue to increase in intensity.

It`s important to remember that every woman`s labor is different, and not all contractions will feel the same. If you are ever concerned about the contractions you`re experiencing, contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Knowing how to recognize real contractions is an important part of preparing for labor and delivery. By paying attention to the timing, intensity, duration, and change in position, you`ll be better equipped to determine when it`s time to head to the hospital and welcome your little one into the world.