Contractions and more: Familiarize yourself with labor and pain

The most common worry during pregnancy for all mothers is labor pain and contractions. Let’s understand what are contractions and how to deal with them.

Contractions are pains at regular intervals. The pain is because of the contracting uterus muscles. Initial contractions start with a dull back ache and light cramps similar to menstrual cramps. You will also feel pressure in the pelvic region.

During the contractions, the abdomen will become hard. In between, it will become soft as the uterus relaxes. The contractions are different for each woman, and may also differ from one pregnancy to the next. Contractions start with a wave-like motion from the top of the uterus to the bottom. They feel like strong menstrual cramps. If your labor contractions are true , they will not stop even when you change your position or relax. Although the contractions may not be comfortable, you will be able to relax in between contractions in the interval.

Contractions are of three types: Actual Contractions, False Contractions, and Braxton Hicks contractions.

Braxton Hicks Contractions These occur anytime during pregnancy and not necessarily at full term. It might or might not occur as well. They are also known as practice contractions.

False Contractions False contractions occur before the actual contraction. They are irregular and will stop when you change your position. These contractions help to prepare the cervix for actual contractions.

Actual Contractions These are easy to spot because the pain is continuous and intense. It doesn’t stop even if you change your position. The frequency and intensity of pain increases with time. You might have diarrhea or upset stomach. Cramps are also common. Actual contractions can be identified by lower pain, pain in lower abdomen, and upper thighs. This is followed by a reddish discharge and water break.

You should go to the doctor immediately if your contractions increase or you experience unbearable pain or water break.

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