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Great Expectations – 45

First babies are notoriously slow about being born. You should plan to monitor your frst few contractions in the comfort of your home. You should prepare to leave for the hospital when your membranes rupture or when your contractions are from 5 to 7 minutes apart. Prepare to leave earlier if you live quite a distance from the hospital. Check with your healthcare provider about eating or drinking anything if you think you are in labor.

False Labor is a common occurrence and unless you want to get all excited and run to the hospital needlessly several times, it is impor­tant toknowthe difference between true and false labor.

False labor involves cramps or contractions of the lower abdomen, similar to true labor, but there is a vital difference. False labor does not cause a change in the cervix, it does not come in regular intervals, and it may disappear altogether if you change positions or walk around. Time the minutes from the start of one contraction to another for several contractions. If you have one contraction now and one 45 minutes later and another 3 hours later, then you are having false labor, especially if you walk around during these contractions and they seem to ease up or stop.

On the other hand, if you time your contractions and fnd they are evenly spaced coming closer and closer together and do NOT go away if you change position or walk around, then you are possibly experiencing True Labor. Some labor contractions cause back pain and some cause lower abdominal pain. When you think you are in labor, sit down and time your contractions. There is no need to immediately panic and rush for the phone, especially if this is your frst baby and your membranes have not ruptured. Labor usually takes a while.

Timing of Contractions

Frequency

Duration

Frequency ­– Time from the start of one contraction to the beginning of another.

Duration – Time from the start of one contraction to the end of the same contraction.

False Labor

• There is no “bloody show.” • Contractions are irregular and not progressively closer together.

• Walking, changing activity or positions may relieve or stop the contractions.

• There is no change in cervix.

True Labor

• A “bloody show” may be the frst sign. It is usually associated with cramp-like pains.

• Contractions get stronger, occur more frequently and last longer. • Walking, changing activity or position doesn’t affect intensity or frequency of contractions. • Cervix dilates.

Is this Really

Labor?

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