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How to tell the difference between braxton hicks and real labor pains?

Ive looked at different websites and they say that as they get closer together and last longer they become real labor pains. Heres what I've been having. I have uterine tightening/cramping that lasts anywhere from 10-15 mins, when this happens my heart rate increases. I have this 5 or 6 times a day. I also have noticed increased discharge, not abnormal looking or smelling. I have also been feeling nauseated off and on for the past couple days. I also have had this discomfort in my real lower abdomen, almost like someone is squeezing my bladder but i dont have symptoms of a uti and dont have to pee. Its almost like a sharp pinching sensation. I am 36 1/2 weeks and am currently seeing my OB weekly. But they never seem to answer my questions. They told me they wont check if Im dilated until around 38 weeks, but the babys head has been down for atleast 2 weeks. This is my 2nd baby but I was induced with my first so this is the first time for me going through labor. Any advise would be wonderful! Thanks :)

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:45 PM on Jan. 25, 2011 in Pregnancy

Answers (5)
  • Here is what I remember. Can you talk during these contractions???? If yes.... then they are more than likely Braxton Hicks....if not, then probably the real thing. Braxton-Hicks also are not regular. They are sporadic. So if they are regular than that could also indicate true contractions.

    Good luck!

    Answer by ratchetlee at 9:55 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • if your contractions are every 6 to 7 min. apart and last an hour go to the hospital. I was induced with my first also and went through labor with my second. My dr. started checking me at 36 weeks. I was 3cm and 50% effaced for 4 weeks.

    Answer by Candie2008 at 2:51 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Braxton Hicks will often lessen if you change positions. For example lay down if you've been sitting or standing. True contractions will continue to get worse and will not go away from position changes. If you experience contractions consistently for longer than two hours (regular or not) call your OB. And of course if they are coming every six minutes or so for an hour go to Labor and Delivery.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:07 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • I apparently couldnt tell the difference between BH and real Contrax cause if I moved around they STOPPED .. What I thought was BH turned out to be real contrax heres what I mean Jan 6,2010 2:30pm went in for my normal weekly check doc watched me for a few and asked me if I felt that I said no he goes ur contraxing every 4-5 mins and here I just thought they was annoying BH he does a exam and Im 5cms and 100% effaced left his office at 3:30pm got my older kids from school came home grabbed hossy bag got to birthing center at 4pm he was born at 5:39pm Jan 6,2010.

    So just cause you can talk through them and they stop when you move doesnt really mean anything I am living proof of that

    Answer by angelluvgoddess at 4:39 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • If you can walk around the house through a contraction then you are not in real labor. I had BH with my second son and was freaked out I wouldn't know the difference and what changed for me and sent me to the hospital was that I could no longer sit or walk through them with out stopping. Contraction should be 10 minutes or less apart, last for 1.5 min, and do not stop or get further apart when laying down. Pressure on the cervix when sitting or standing. I hope you are not having a contraction for 10 to 15 minutes that is not typical they should only last 1.5 min.

    If you are ever concerned that you are having too many contraction you should go to OB and get monitored. Good Luck!!

    Answer by ChristyW3 at 8:37 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

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