Week 32: Know your contractions

Contractions feel like a cramping or tightening sensation that starts in the lower back and moves around the front.  As these tend to be universal signs of labor, most first timers (like hubby and I) easily confuse Braxton Hicks with true labor contractions — and get alarmed when these suddenly occur.  The main difference between them is the frequency, duration and severity of the contractions.

TRUE labor contractions continue no matter what you do. They come at regular intervals and get closer together, longer and more painful as time passes.  Hence the popularity of epidurals these days!

FALSE labor contractions are named after Braxton Hicks, the doc who discovered that some pregnant women actually felt contractions way before actual delivery. These are thought to be an aid to the body in its preparation for birth and tend to be unpredictable and uncomfortable. They can be managed by:

  1. Drinking up
  2. Breathing rhythmically
  3. Lying on your left side
  4. Changing positions or moving around
  5. Emptying that bladder – make that effort for the 1tsp of pee. Again.
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