- True labor feels uncomfortable.
- Your back and lower abdomen ache.
- There is pressure in the pelvic area.
- The sides of your body and thighs also ache.
Some liken the true labor contractions to strong menstrual cramps. Others think of them as strong waves that resemble diarrhea cramps.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
When it comes to determining whether your little one is arriving or not, it’s best to monitor and evaluate your symptoms. This true labor versus false labor chart can help you decide if it is time to head to the hospital for delivery.
Braxton Hicks (False Labor)
- Irregular contractions that are few and far between.
- Contractions may cease once you start walking, resting, or change position.
- Weak contractions.
- Contractions in front of your tummy.
- Do not cause cervical dilation.
- Regular contractions lasting 30 to 90 seconds each, that get closer together as time goes by.
- Contractions proceed no matter what you do and not relieved by a change in position.
- Regular contractions that grow consistently stronger.
- Contractions seem to start above the abdomen and from the mid-back before moving up front.
You may refer to this true labor versus false labor chart to help you figure out if you are undergoing true or false labor.
What causes false labor?
Braxton Hicks contractions or false labor frequently comes at the heels of a long, stressful day, especially if you have been physically active. The exact reason as to why this happens is unknown but it is usually associated with increased physical activity, when the bladder is full, after sexual activity, and when the woman is dehydrated. Chronic stress causes lasting changes in your body’s vascular system, hormones, and ability to withstand infection. As such, chronic stress can also bring about false labor, even if the baby has not reached full term.
How long after false labor is true labor expected?
False labor lasts a few hours to a few weeks before true labor starts. You can refer to your true labor versus false labor chart to check your symptoms. It is best to consult your doctor about what to do if you experience false labor in the latter weeks of pregnancy.
What procedures will the doctor follow to check labor pains?
If you are experiencing true labor, contact your doctor and head to the hospital. Obstetricians admit women whose cervix is at least 4 cm dilated. The doctor will then check for: