Hey y’all! If we haven’t met, my name is Sarah! I am a Mama to 3 girls (twins and a singleton) ages 4.5, 4.5, and 2 and I am also a labor and delivery nurse of 7+ years. I delivered my twins via c-section and my singleton via VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) so I have a good deal of labor experience under my belt and love to share advice/tips/and tricks with you all! As always feel free to leave questions in the comments below or find me on Instagram @Deliveringmotherhood and shoot me a DM! I love to hear from y’all!
Also, don’t forget to grab my FREE Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist that I created just for YOU so you have everything you need and nothing you don’t! Click HERE to grab it now! Lastly, I would LOVE to have you join my totally FREE Facebook group called Childbirth Prep & Beyond where you can connect with other Mamas and ask questions anytime! I share regular pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding and just mama tips there all the time! Join us by clicking HERE!
Today we are talking all about CONTRACTIONS: Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor.
One of the most common questions we get in the hospital is how do I know when it’s actually labor?? Braxton Hicks contractions are what most people call “False Labor” or practice contractions. They are your body’s way of preparing for labor and they are perfectly normal!
To most people, Braxton Hicks contractions feel light tightening in your belly or maybe some mild menstrual cramps. They are also usually not very regular and tend to go away if you drink plenty of water, maybe take a bath, or just sit back and rest and relax.
True labor contractions on the other hand, are truly quite painful and very regular in pattern. They tend to start out farther apart but as time goes on they get closer and closer together until they are at least 5 minutes apart or less; and no matter what you do (hydration, bath, rest) they do not go away. They also feel stronger over time.
So what do I do if I’m having Braxton Hicks contractions?
Well if they’re not bothering you? Nothing really. If they are uncomfortable: make sure you’re staying super hydrated, spend some time resting if you can, decrease your physical activity, and just be happy your body is doing what it’s supposed to do to help prepare for true labor!
And what about when I DO start having true labor contractions??
GREAT! If you’re full term pregnant (37+ weeks) then yay! Your baby is on the way! Start timing the contractions (there’s tons of free apps for this!) and when they are at least 5 minutes apart or less, for at least an hour, AND strong enough that you cannot walk or talk when they’re happening (<– this is the MOST IMPORTANT part), that is a good time to head on into the hospital or wherever you are planning to give birth! Congrats Mama!
Any other labor, pregnancy, or really any questions at all, drop them below! Happy Laboring, Mamas!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram HERE and Facebook HERE to see our family shenanigans and for more fun labor, pregnancy, and Mama tips! And grab your FREE Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist HERE and join my FREE facebook group for Mamas by clicking HERE!!