Am I In Labor? How To Detect Active Labor
Telling the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and actual labor can be difficult even if you've given birth before. I've found the best way to determine if you are in real labor is to go through this simple check list. Keep in mind there are two types of labor. Regular Labor were your stomach hardens with each contraction and there is Back Labor which is when you start having lower back pain that moves from your back to your stomach and your stomach hardens. Both tips of labor are common and there is no way to determine which one you will experience until labor actually starts.
*For those who do not know what Braxton Hicks Contractions are, it is when your body is not in actual labor but is practicing for when you do go into labor. Braxton Hicks only last less than a minute and eventually go away after half a hour.
To tell if you are in labor ask yourself these 3 questions.
1. Does your stomach start to harden, feel like the stomach muscles are tightening and then after 30 seconds to 2 minutes the hardening and tightness goes away even after walking around.?
2. Do your contractions last longer than a minute and the contractions do not stop coming after half a hour?
If the contractions do not last for very long and go away without coming back or the contractions go away as soon as you lay down or sit down then you are most likely just experiencing braxton hicks contractions.
3. Are you having back pain that moves slowly from your back to your stomach and your stomach starts to harden but the hardening goes away 1-3 minutes later?
If you didn't answer 2 out of these 3 questions or more with a yes then you are most likely just experiencing braxton hicks. You will defiantly know you are just experiencing braxton hicks (false labor) if the contractions aren't coming while you are laying down or sitting down but and if you are standing up or walking they go away as soon as you sit down or lay down. If you question if it is indeed false labor the best thing to do is walk around for a hour with 5 min breaks every 20 minutes and after a hour sit down and see if the contractions continue after half a hour. If half a hour passes by and you are still experiencing contractions while sitting down then you are most likely in labor.
If this is your first baby rarely do first time moms go into labor before their due date and most go into labor 2-7 days after due date which is very common.
If this is your second or more baby the chances of going into labor on your due date rises but its still common not to start labor until a day or so after your due date.
If you are carrying multiples it is common, even if this is your first pregnancy, to go into labor as early as 35 weeks.
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