Telling the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and the real thing can be tricky! However, there is a difference between a true labor and a false labor and it is important to know the difference.
Braxton Hicks contractions are a pregnant woman’s body preparing itself for the real thing – it’s as simple as that. The pregnant body can tell the baby is growing and decides to practice. This can send you and your loved one into frenzy, only to get to the hospital and find it’s a false alarm.
Although true labor varies from woman to woman, there are some subtle ways of knowing or figuring out the difference. First, let’s have a look at false labor or Braxton Hicks.
Braxton Hicks contractions are usually not painful; they are sporadic in nature and often do not come closer together. They tend to go away when you walk or change your position. They won’t get stronger as time progresses and they don’t last longer as they continue to happen. This simmer down and often go away.
Now for the signs of True Labor!
Please call your doctor if your contractions become consistent like every 10 minutes or have more than 5 in an hour. Call if you have pain in your lower back or abdomen. This can start in the front and move downward toward the lower back. Most women experience increasing pressure in their pelvis or vagina. Take notice if you see blood or fluid leaking from your vagina. You might experience the loss of a mucus plug substance as well. These are the signs of true labor.
If you are experiencing any of this, then it’s probably time to call your doctor, midwife or get to a hospital.