Clarify This For Me Contractions

7 Replies
AngelinLuv - November 7

I'm 37 weeks, 1 cm dilated & 50% effaced as of last week. She asked me if I was having any contractions. I told her I didn't think so. As a first time mom, I wasn't really sure what they felt like.. I'd had some pains, but not unbearable. Last night at 1242 I got an intense cramp in my belly that I assume was a contraction. I actually had to breathe through it and it was painful. I waited for another, but nothing ever happened. So if they aren't rythmic, are they still contractions? Or braxton hicks?


emfine99 - November 7

I really don't know what to expect with them also. I am almost 38 weeks, have been experiencing horrible pains like period cramps and the nsome tightening in my stomach. The dr said these are contractions and you should be timing how many you have an hour, if they are close together, etc. I really never knew what to expect and just a__sumed these were still BH's, but she said they weren't and the period like cramps is what helps you to efface and then dialate. I am also 50% effaced, which fro mthe pains I've been having, hopefully i will be further along at my next appt lol! Just keep an eye on the clock when you have pains and see how far apart you are! I think you can get moderate ones and then they progress and tend to get more intense. That's how it has been with me.


DaBonkElsMe - November 7

Could be a contraction, could be braxton hicks. From what I understand the "practice" contractions get stronger as you get closer to the end and they help to dialte you and to get you more effaced! But if you have more than 4 in an hour, or if they are less than 7 minutes apart, you should call your doctor. Having just one or two, is not a reason to call. Last night I had two in a row so I looked at the clock and had a third one 7 minutes later. It was the worst pain ever or anyhting, but if I had another on, I was going to call, but they stopeed after that third one. I am only 35.3 weeks, so I dodn't think it was "it." Technically speaking, you are at full term if you are past 37 weeks, so you should check the clock and start timing anytime you feel a contraction at this point. Good luck, it won't be long now!


DaBonkElsMe - November 7

I meant it was NOT the worst pain ever!! sorry


Buffi R. - November 7

Another thing you can do to check if your contractions are the real thing or not is to change positions (lie down if you've been upright, or walk around if you've been lying down), and drink lots of fluids. If they subside, then they're just BH's, but if they get worse and closer together no matter what you do, they're probably the real thing. The main difference between BH's and "real" contractions is if they cause dilation or not. The feelings can be the same for each, but BH's won't cause dilation. I know that's difficult to gauge when you're home not being examined, but that's the textbook definition of the difference between the two.


jenna32 - November 8

if they are real contractions don't they also get more painful?


alirenee86 - November 8

I've often wondered the same thing and have realized they are practice contractions. Didn't know that the period like cramps are what helps you to efface but that makes sense. Good to know. I too have expected them to be more intense though. They hurt when they come, I'm 39 weeks, but it's nothing I can't deal with. I almost like them now because I feel like the read deal is coming soon.


josie4 - November 8

Hi there! I just had my baby Tuesday. :) My labor contractions started as period-like cramps, and then changed to what I can describe as a hard, sharp ball of pain that started at my cervix and radiated up (I didn't feel pain much further past my pubic bone). My stomach did not harden or tighten as it did with braxton hicks, and the contractions did not feel like cramps for long. Hope that helps. :)



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