Pregnancy is a time of anticipation and preparation, but it can also be filled with confusion and uncertainty. One of those confusing elements? Braxton Hicks contractions.
That’s why understanding the differences between Braxton Hicks and real labor is so important – it can help you know when to go to the hospital or call your midwife for advice!
What are Braxton Hicks?
Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as “false labor”, are sporadic contractions that typically begin in pregnancy’s second trimester.
They are usually felt as tightening or hardening in the abdomen that often comes and goes. While they may be uncomfortable,
Changing positions or taking a break from physical activity can easily manage Braxton Hicks, which usually last no more than 30 seconds to two minutes.
What is real labor?
Real labor contractions come at regular intervals, start off mild and get increasingly stronger over time.
Unlike Braxton Hicks which come randomly, true labor begins slowly
with contraction-like pain that gets more frequent and intense until you have a baby in your arms!
With true labor, you may also experience some other signs such as backache, increased pelvic pressure, loose bowel movements (due to increased hormones), water breaking (this doesn’t happen for everyone) etc.True labor pains are easily distinguishable from false ones because of their intensity and regularity.
When should I call my provider?
Don’t hesitate to call them even if you’re not sure if it’s real labor – it’s better to be safe than sorry! You should also seek medical attention if you experience any bleeding during pregnancy or severe abdominal pain that won’t go away after resting for a few minutes.
It’s important to remember though that knowledge is power; understanding what distinguishes false labor from true one will help ensure a safe delivery for both mommy and baby!
So take some time out of your day to learn about false vs real labor so that you know exactly when it’s time to head into the hospital…or just keep waiting patiently at home until baby arrives!
Good luck mama!