Are these real contractions?

Our today topic is uterine contractions during pregnancy.We will talk about uterine contractions during pregnancy.Contractions are a sign that work has begun and that you will soon give birth. On the other hand, they may be contractions associated with “false work” called Braxton-Hicks contractions. Here’s how to distinguish them.

The real contractions
Braxton-Hicks contractions
When should you go to the hospital?

The Real Contractions
The contractions intensify, last longer and occur at shorter intervals.
The frequency of the contractions is regular.
When you move and adopt a vertical position, the intensity of the contractions decreases.
The cervix fades (thins) and expands (opens).
The frequency of contractions
The frequency of contractions is calculated from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. For example, if the first contraction starts at 10 o’clock and the next, at 10 o’clock, the contraction frequency is 10 minutes.

Uterine Contractions During Pregnancy 

The Duration Of Contractions
The duration of the contractions is calculated from the beginning of the contraction until the end of this one. For example, if a contraction starts at 10 o’clock and ends 30 seconds later, its duration is 30 seconds. The duration of the contractions is usually calculated in seconds. They can last about 30 seconds at the beginning of work, then gradually lengthen up to 90 seconds.

The interval of contractions
Your healthcare provider may also refer to the interval between contractions. The interval is calculated from the end of one contraction to the beginning of the next. For example, if one contraction ends at 10:01 and the next begins at 10:10, the interval between contractions is 9 minutes.

Braxton-Hicks contractions
These contractions are often associated with “false work”.

This type of contractions can occur throughout pregnancy. They are often manifested by a feeling of tightness in the abdomen caused by tightening and loosening of the uterus . They can be uncomfortable without being painful.

Often, they fade with lying down on the left side, or taking a shower or hot bath.

Some pregnant women experience Braxton-Hicks contractions during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Others do not feel them until the last month or the approach of childbirth.

Unlike real contractions:

Braxton-Hicks contractions do not become more intense;
the contractions associated with “false work” do not become closer and closer;
there is no change to the cervix.
Table: comparison between true and false work
Real work
False work
Frequency and interval of contractions
The contractions are regular and the time interval between contractions decreases as work progresses.
The contractions are irregular and do not become closer and closer.
Intensity of contractions
The intensity of the contractions becomes stronger and stronger.
The intensity of the contractions is weak and does not increase with time.
The contractions are more and more painful.
Contractions can be felt with or without pain.
The neck opens (dilation) and thins (erased) gradually.
The collar does not change.
When should you go to the hospital?
If you lose your waters at once or they flow without interruption.

If the contractions are regular and occur at 5 minute intervals for at least 1 hour. If the hospital is more than 30 minutes away from your home, you may consider leaving earlier.

If you are uncomfortable or feel very anxious about work.

If you have any doubts about what to do, call the birth unit at your hospital.

You may be told to come home if the work is not advanced enough.



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