Childbirth, labour, delivery, birth, partus, or parturition is the culmination of a pregnancy period with the expulsion of one or more newborn infants from a woman’s uterus. The process of normal childbirth is categorized in three stages of labour Water birth refers to childbirth, usually human, that occurs in water.
Before “true” labor begins, you might have “false” labor pains, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These irregular uterine contractions are perfectly normal and might start to occur from your fourth month of pregnancy. They are your body’s way of getting ready for the “real thing.”
What do Braxton Hicks contractions feel like?
Braxton Hicks contractions can be described as tightening in the abdomen that comes and goes. These contractions do not get closer together, do not increase in how long they last or how often they occur, and do not feel stronger over time. They often come with a change of position and stop with rest.
What do true labor contractions feel like?
The way a contraction feels is different for each woman and might feel different from one pregnancy to the next. Labor contractions cause discomfort or a dull ache in your back and lower abdomen, along with pressure in the pelvis. Some women might also feel pain in their sides and thighs. Some women describe contractions as strong menstrual cramps, while others describe them as strong waves that feel like diarrhea cramps.
So how do you know when your contractions are the “real thing?”
Timing of contractions:
False labor — contractions are often irregular and do not get closer together.
True labor — contractions come at regular intervals and get closer together as time goes on. (Contractions last about 30 to 70 seconds.)