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Old 09-19-2012  
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Default Experiencing Contractions During Pregnancy

Are you experiencing contractions during your pregnancy? This is very common even as early as the second trimester and does not necessarily mean labor is around the corner. There are two forms of contractions: Braxton-Hicks, or false contractions, and labor contractions, which do indeed signal that childbirth is around the corner.

What are Braxton-Hicks Contractions?
Braxton-Hicks, or false, contractions work to thin and soften the cervix and tend to get rather frequent as your due date gets closer. Curious if the contractions you’re feeling are real contractions during pregnancy or false contractions? Braxton-Hicks are irregular and may be strong and painful or light and painless. They are unpredictable, however, and do not get stronger and regular over time. They also tend to pass if you change positions, walk around or take a shower. They seem more common in the afternoon if you’ve been active during the day.

Real Contractions During Labor
True contractions are the first sign that childbirth is beginning. Real contractions often move from your back to your lower stomach and last anywhere from 30 seconds to over one minute. They come regularly and get closer together and stronger over the course of hours.

Are You Experiencing Pre-Term Labor?
If you are experiencing contractions during pregnancy that take place before your 37th week, you may be experiencing pre-term labor. These contractions will probably be painful and come at regular intervals. Always contact your doctor if you feel you are experiencing preterm labor, as it may be stopped.

What to Do When You Experience Contractions During Pregnancy
It can often be tough to tell the difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and real labor contractions. Many women even make the trip to the hospital only to be sent home with false labor. When you feel contractions, make sure you time them. Write down on a piece of paper when each contraction starts so you can time the interval between contractions. This way, you can see if your contractions are getting closer together.
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