“How will I know when I’m in labour?”, it’s a question we get asked frequently. The answer is, you will know when time passes by. If you’re having contractions that are getting progressively stronger, longer and more frequent, chances are you’re in labour. But you may also experience Braxton Hicks contractions (sometimes called “practice contractions”) long before the big day arrives. Braxton Hicks contractions can easily be mistaken for the real thing, especially if you haven’t had a baby before. False labor contractions are unpredictable. They usually come at irregular intervals and vary in length and intensity. Although real labor contractions may be irregular at first, over time they start coming at regular and shorter intervals, become increasingly more intense, and last longer. Furthermore, false labor contractions may subside on their own, when you start or stop an activity, or when you change position. True labour contractions persist and progress no matter what you do.
How to know the difference between false labour contractions and labour contractions?
How to know the difference?
False labour contractions:
- Are infrequent, and usually happen no more than once or twice an hour, a few times a day.
- Often stop if you change activity. So walk around if you’ve been sitting, and sit down if you’ve been on your feet for a while.
- Are usually irregular, or if they are regular, only stay that way for a short time.
- Don’t last long, usually less than a minute.
- Continue to be unpredictable and non-rhythmic.
- Don’t increase in intensity.