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when does labor officially begin?

i am 1cm dilated! yay:)
does labor start when you dilate? when you have contractions 5 mins apart? when your water breaks? when are you officially "in labor"?

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Asked by momma_2b_2010 at 12:15 AM on Jan. 20, 2010 in Pregnancy

Level 3 (23 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I hope someone has the answer soon, I have forgotten and now I wanna refresh my brain :)

    Answer by SherriX2 at 12:19 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • i think it is when you are having contractions about 5 min apart....but you dont go into active labor until they are really regular and are dialated to at least 3cm

    Answer by juliak818 at 12:21 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • i was dilated to 3cm for a few weeks in "early labor". they say to call when you have more then 4 contractions in an hour, so i would think that was "in labor".

    Answer by erika_wright at 1:20 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • I don't think there is one straight way to answer-- but perhaps when contractions seem to be consistent, regular, intensifying, increasing. They could be 12 minutes apart or 5 minutes apart, mom may/may not be dilated, her water may/may not break/have broken...

    Some women walk around having regular contractions for weeks.
    Some women walk around significantly dilated for months.
    The water may never break at all. Or break and no contractions start for weeks... Or...
    There are so many possibilities! ;-)

    But when the contractions do get going and nothing seems to make them go away (hydration, rest, nourishment, shower, walk, etc.), then it just might be It.

    Answer by doulala at 3:00 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • true labor begins when you are having painful contractions that come at regular intervals and do not go away when resting or drinking water. They could be 20 minutes apart but if it is consistent then it is true labor.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 3:49 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • why does it need to be offical?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:26 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • i think you mean active labor, which imo is when contractions are coming regularly, every few minutes, and don't subside or peter out after an hour or so.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:28 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • oh and you can birth your baby before the water breaks, so it's definitely not after the water breaks! :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:29 AM on Jan. 20, 2010

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