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Labor or not? How can I tell?

Alright well I'm 37 weeks and 1 day along. Yesterday I went for my weekly Non Stress Test (my son has a two-vessel cord) and I was having contractions, they checked and said that I was 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced, the day before at my regular check-up I was 1 cm and 60%. I was sent home yesterday but today I'm having more cramping and some very uncomfortable back pain. The cramping doesn't stay in the same place for long and the back pain comes and goes. I haven't lost my plug or anything. I'm just wondering if this is early labor and if I should go to the hospital or not. I don't want to go and end up being sent home. This is my first child so I've got nothing to compare this to other than what I've heard from friends and family. Any suggestions?


Asked by Starlingpoet at 6:03 PM on Apr. 2, 2010 in Pregnancy

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Answers (7)
  • 37 weeks, you're considered full term, meaning they don't have concerns if the baby were to come now. So, if it is indeed early labor, wait for it to progress. If the contractions are coming 2-3 minutes apart and lasting about a minute, then go to the hospital. You don't want to show up too early; they won't let you eat and you're likely not going to be *allowed* to do what your body is telling you to do. You'll most definitely be more comfortable laboring at home.

    Answer by ncbirdie at 6:05 PM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • well the best way i can compare contractions to is menstrual cramps. as for baby dropping and such when i went into pre-term labor with my daughter she dropped and dropped quick. i felt like i had to poop really bad and i felt backed up like extremely constipated! well i went in they stopped it. then a few hours later i got up rushed to the toilet and my S/O brought me the trash can and I ended up barfing and shitting at the same time Gross i know but you cant help it. i also could tell her head was engaged in my pelvis. Also i had back labor during the time being! I was def in labor. they stopped it. then when i went into actual labor i had 2 have csection cuz babys head was too big for my pelvis. but that what i can say what it felt like for me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:13 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • You could be in early labor.... I know I was cramping really bad, couldn't sleep, eat or stop moving for 3 days (it hurt to stop moving) then I lost my mucus plug (so nasty lol) and had my bloody show.... I waited another hr and then decided it was time to go to the hospital (my contractions were ever 3-5 mins) When I got there I was dialated 6 cm.... Contractions just feel like cramps... You need to time your contractions... when they are 5 mins

    Answer by June_Mama09 at 7:53 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I wouldn't go to the hospital until you're having contractions close together. Check with your ob for when he likes you to go, because otherwise they just send you home. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you just know. It is unmistakeable after a while. Also, you'll feel it in your whole uterus. The whole thing will tighten, like a cramp, but all over yoru abdomen. If your'e feeling it moving around, those are classic braxton hicks. Being dialated and effaced really have no indication of when you'll go into labor. I don't know why they even check it. It's like it gets you hopes up, then nooooo.

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 7:54 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • cont... apart and are 1 min long call your doc... but you know your body better than anyone.... when it is time you will know!!

    Answer by June_Mama09 at 7:55 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I also never lost a mucous plug that I saw, nor did I have bloody show. My water broke within minutes of my babies arriving, too. So, don't wait for those if your'e really in labor!

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 7:55 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • The back pain might be back labor. I had all back labor with DD. it took me a little while to figure out that it was actually contractions because it doesn't feel like what you think a contraction would feel like. Time the pain, if it comes regular it could be early labor. I don't know how yours is, but mine would start in the small of my back then move around to my gut and down my thighs.

    Answer by jedwards2009 at 1:43 AM on Apr. 3, 2010