Real Labor vs. False Labor: How Do You Know When It's Time?
As you near your due date, you may be experiencing an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. Sometimes these can even be painful and rhythmic, leading you to believe you’re in labor.
So how exactly do you know if your labor is false? Concerned about making an unnecessary trip to the hospital? Or calling your midwife and having it be a false alarm? Don’t worry—it’s happened to plenty of moms, and you shouldn’t feel bad if it happens to you.
These guidelines will help you determine whether your labor is just practice for what’s to come:
- Most telling, there is not a progressive dilation of the cervix.
- You aren’t having any bloody show
- You haven’t experienced rupture of membranes.
- Uterine contractions may or may not be painful and may stop with activity. Their pattern will usually be unpredictable and the contractions will not get longer, more intense, and closer together.
- Contractions are likely to be felt in your lower abdomen. True labor contractions often begin in the lower back and then move to your abdomen.
Keep in mind that not all women experience false labor, and when it doubt, it’s always best to call your obstetrician or midwife. Otherwise, take a warm bath or shower and be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Try and get some rest as your body prepares for the impending delivery of your new little one. It won’t be long now!
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