How Can I Tell If Labor Has Begun

12 Replies
MMorris - May 30

I am 39 weeks pregnant and I have been having braxton hicks contractions for a few months. Three days ago the contractions became regular, so I timed them. They were 1 min. long, 5 min. apart for over an hour. I went to the hospital and they began monitoring me. They stayed like that for the hour I was there, but I wasn't dialated and was only 20% thinned out. They told me to go home and to come back when the pain was so unbareable I couldn't walk. Has this happened to anyone else? How will I know when to go to the hospital?


krista-lee - May 30

they usually dont admit you to the hiospital unless you are having contractions that are VERY painful. those are the ones that help dilate the cervix. so yes its very common, and you'll know when its time to go. when they are 4-5 minutes apart and you cant talk through them, head back


starr - May 30

Yes, just like they told you, when the pain is so unbearable that u can hardly walk or can barely talk when u have a contraction,then it's time to go.Otherwise you'll probably just get sent home again.Good Luck.


mickey87 - May 31

i remeber i thought my water was leakin so i went to the hospt. and they put me on the monitor and i was ahving regular contractions every 4 minutes but i couldnt even feel them .so they said to go home and come back when it was worse so i went home and had some bloody show the next morning i went tothe doctors with more painful contractions that were 5minutes apart they sent me home and told me to come back when i couldnt stand them and i went home and waited around and that same night they got so bad i couldnt talk through them and they were about 4 minutes apart and i went back and had my baby and 443am the next morning:P


Daniella - June 9

You will know if its true labor when you can't even post here. When your in true labor, you wouldn't be able to sit in the chair at the computer, type anything, much less even think about submitting a post here. LOL... Sounds bad, but pain is what gets your baby out.


bbelmore - June 12

For me it was like BH, but they hurt. No matter what position I was in it hurt. I tried bathing, lying down , sitting, drinking tea, everything. Pain was the key factor.


piratesmermaid - June 17

See, my mother's contractions weren't painful. Just uncomfortable, the entire time. She didn't even know she was in labor. The only reason she went to the hospital was because it felt like she had to go poop really bad. So I don't think pain is or should be a definite sign. I know I'm worried that I'll have the same mild contractions and won't know when to go to the hospital.


Daniella - June 17

Um, that was your mother, not you. Until YOU actually feel it, you really can't say how labor is. I've heard ever story possible, work in a hospial and everything and never truly knew what it felt until it happened.


Daniella - June 17

oh and btw, everyone is worried that they will have some mild contractions and wont know, but then those same people come back to say you will DEFINITELY know after they have gone through it. Esepcially if its your first baby it is very rare to have a quick labor (not even talking pain here).


piratesmermaid - June 18

First off, I wasn't saying how labor is. I don't have a clue, I haven't been through it yet. All I'm saying is that it isn't always 100% no matter what painful, and that different signs other than pain should be considered as well.


Daniella - June 18

Epidurals are made for a reason. They aren't going to administer pain relief in the spine if labor pain isn't that bad. And you DID say how labor was... and it is painful. When you go through it, I want you to come back and let us know. Not trying to be mean AT ALL.. just saying that it is very painful no matter what anyone says. There is a very rare chance that it may not be too bad for some, but extremely rare. You need to have pain to contract the baby out. Its just mother nature. Your mom probably told you it wasn't that bad because she doesn't want to scare you or she doesn't recall it exactly OR she had pain killers. I just gave birth 6 weeks ago and right after I could tell you its the worst pain you'll ever experience in your life and you will KNOW when its real labor... but now 6 weeks later its almost a blurr so I can say, "ah, its not that bad".. thats only because as time pa__ses so does the pain you have felt. Now granted I didn't have an epi. because I can take pain, but believe me I was almost crying for one as I hit 10 cm. So, it may not be so bad if you get an epi. BUT< before the epi. you will know when labor has begun. Thats the question of the post "How can I tell if labor has begun" So, thats all I was saying. ALSO, the average length of labor for first time moms is 12 hours I believe. They also say that first time moms dilate on average 1 cm every 2 hours. So, you will have time. Thats why they say not to rush into the hospital on the littlest pain. Its gets worse for each cm. you dilate. I went in at 4 cm (that I was for a couple weeks) and thought it would be fast... Still took 12 hours of active labor. The last hour I gripped the hospital bed so hard that I think my hand was turning blue. I had a song played over and over in my head to keep me sane while sweat dripped down my face. Hey, maybe the next baby I'll get the epi. lol


Patti - June 21

I've given birth 3 times (working on #4.) My contractions were not bad at all until almost delivery time. With #1 they were 2 minutes apart and hurt, but I could function enough to walk and make phone calls. It was after 6 cm and they broke my water that they came on horrible. #2 was induced, so that doesn't count. #3 was mostly cramps and groin pain for hours. I had some contractions and they hurt, but I remember walking into a 7-11 to get a small coffee (I know I wasn't supposed to) and going through a contraction there. I was able to function and walk out of there. I got to the hospital 30 min later and was 100% effaced and almost 8cm dilated. I had no idea I'd made it that far because it wasn't consistent and the pain wasn't too bad. So, I am speaking from experience and can say that not all labor pains are so bad you can't walk or talk or type.


Daniella - June 21

Patti- we are talking first babies here.. :)yea, the ones that take place later might not be as bad. and I SOOOO agree with you that once they break your water, it gets worse. I think I was 6 cm also when they broke my water and that was the worst part of my whole experience. My water broke before I got to the hospital, but I guess there was another sac that needed to be popped and OH MY right after they did that all bets were off. I was able to watch tv and laugh, etc. right until they did that. ALSO, your totally right that the pains get way worse after you hit about 6-7 cm. My worse pain was obviously between 9-10 cm. But, I came into the hospital at 4 cm and was that for weeks. You can be 4-5 cm for weeks before you go into labor, especially on your first. I was fully effaced also.... but you need bad contractions to get to 10. and first babies average 2 hours per 1 cm of dilation. So, you still have time after you hit 6cm. For the average first timer. My doctor made a joke when I was at my last checkup before labor...she said, "Now, I dont want you to come to the hospital until you are at 7 cm" I was like.... WHAT how the heck am I going to know. LOL... but, she was just saying that there is still time after 7 cm. Even getting to 7 takes a long time. I was at 4 cm at midnight... I gave birth at 11:36am. SO, it took 12 hours to go 6 cm



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