Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

ladies can you please help me? 39.4 weeks and not sure whats going on... first baby

to start, over the past 3 days i have been having really bad period like pains on and off. i have had these in the past but not days in a row and not this painful. are these considered contractions? they are low, not in my belly but in my pelvic area.

also, i just got back from the doctors and she checked to see if i was dilated. she said theres a tiny nipple-like thing on my cervix and made me bleed a tiny bit. she said that i could be dilated a little but the cervix is behind the baby's head she didn't want to keep trying to dig back there and make me uncomfortable. so does this mean i still could be dilated or not?

Answer Question

Asked by samantha21385 at 10:09 AM on Oct. 9, 2009 in Pregnancy

Level 13 (953 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • It sounds like your body is preparing... getting ready for labor. That might mean labor soon or within weeks. (= normal.)

    Knowing what your cervix is doing/not doing does not help you~ it confuses you, and does not tell you anything useful about when you'll labor.
    (You might avoid getting checked in the future.)

    As it gets closer to being Time, you will probably notice contractions that get closer together, more intense, maybe other signs, too.

    Answer by doulala at 10:15 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • Early labor
    During early labor, your cervix will begin to dilate. You may feel mild to moderately strong contractions during early labor. They may last 30 to 60 seconds and come every five to 20 minutes. As your cervix begins to open, you may notice a thick, stringy, blood-tinged discharge from your vagina. This is known as bloody show.

    How long it lasts: You may need to be patient. Early labor is unpredictable. It may last for hours or even days, especially for first-time moms. It's often much shorter for subsequent deliveries.

    What you can do: Until your contractions increase in frequency and intensity, it's up to you. For many women, early labor isn't particularly uncomfortable. You may feel like doing household chores, taking a walk or watching a movie. Or you might simply continue your daily activities.

    Answer by JoyandLove at 10:19 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • It may also help to:

    â– Take a shower or bath.
    â– Listen to relaxing music.
    â– Have a gentle massage.
    â– Try slow, deep breathing.
    â– Change positions.
    â– Drink water, juice or other clear liquids.
    â– Eat light, healthy snacks.
    â– Apply ice packs or heat to your lower back.
    Active labor
    Now it's time for the real work to begin. During active labor, your cervix will dilate to 10 centimeters. Your contractions will become stronger and progressively longer. Near the end of active labor, it may feel as though the contractions never completely disappear. You may feel increasing pressure in your back as well. If you haven't headed to your labor and delivery facility yet, now's the time.


    Answer by JoyandLove at 10:20 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • How long it lasts: On average, active labor lasts up to eight hours. For some women, active labor lasts hours longer. For others — especially those who've had a previous vaginal delivery — active labor is much shorter.

    What you can do: Look to your labor coach and health care team for encouragement and support. Try breathing and relaxation techniques to combat your growing discomfort. Use what you learned in childbirth class or ask your health care team for suggestions.

    It may also help to:

    â– Change positions.
    â– Rock in a rocking chair.
    â– Roll on a birthing ball.
    â– Take a warm shower or bath.
    â– Place a cool, damp cloth on your forehead.
    â– Take a walk, stopping to breathe through contractions.
    â– Have a massage between contractions.

    Answer by JoyandLove at 10:23 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • it doesn't really matter if you are dilated or not. you might want to consider not getting check in future so you don't have to go through that. to me, it sounds like labor is near! but it could be a few days to 10 days to go. it is just so hard to tell. but i really think what you are feeling is normal, so no need to worry. just try to relax just in case labor is near, get as much sleep as you can :) good luck! my guess would be that you will have your baby in the next 7 days, but can't be sure... just a guess

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:34 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • i just read the other replies and wanted to say they are really good replies and i have nothing to add! good luck to you!

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 10:35 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • OP thank you everyone but the only thing i am still confused about really is whether or not i am feeling real contractions from time to time (the period-like pains i keep getting low) or are they different and higher in your stomach? i just dont know if i should be timing them.

    Answer by samantha21385 at 10:39 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • Look at and feel your stomach while you are feeling the pains. Does it look like it's tightening? Does it feel harder than normal? Those are contractions. I know what you mean, it's really hard to tell what you are feeling until you are in active labor (then you will Know that you are having them). If your abdomen is not tightening you are probably just feeling pelvice pressure. This is totally normal and most women feel it from 36 weeks on.
    Like everyone else said, either way your body is preparing itself for labor.

    Answer by MommyKKay at 10:43 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • personally i wouldn't worry about timing them at all until they are really intense and you can't really continue doing day-to-day activities. like they are really intense and you need to lean on the wall and focus. otherwise you might just go nuts! :) are you feeling several an hour, or just maybe 3 per hour or just from time-to-time? just curious.

    i don't think they are *real* contractions but early labor pains.

    please anyone correct me if i am wrong!

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 10:44 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

  • Stef~ there is no real right-wrong, women have different experiences. ;-)

    Yes, usually we notice intensity building over time... And many of us don't have to ask when they are getting big, we can tell.

    OP, if you don't think it's time to start timing yet then it probably isn't. When you notice you have a contraction and you'd had one kinda recently (a few minutes back), you might start timing, see what you get.
    If it's one every 20-30 minutes you don't need to bother with timing yet.

    Answer by doulala at 10:48 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.