How to Recognize Labor Pains

Labor pain is something many mothers would be expecting for many months and would bring much anxiety and fear in expectation of the events that would follow although the outcome would be rather sweet and pleasant. But, the same anxiety and fear would set-in due to a different reason which would mimic the actual labor pains to a certain degree. But, in reality, these pains known as ‘false labor’ or ‘braxton hicks’ contractions would not be indicative of a potential labor not it indicates anything harmful to the baby.

For many mothers, differentiating between the two would be rather difficult and knowing the exact nature of the two kinds would be rather helpful in knowing when exactly to act. Thus, let us now see some of the features that can be used in identifying between the two.

Locations of the pain:

The false labor pains would most likely to occur in the front of the abdomen or pelvis whereas the true labor pains would start from the back and would radiate to the front in most instances. Thus, Braxton hicks contractions usually do not give rise to lower back pain which would be seen in true labor pains.

Frequency of pain:

False labor pains would not be regular and would last a relatively little time. But, the true labor pains would last for a relatively longer time and the frequency at which it manifest would come closer and closer as the uterus prepares to expel the baby. By this time, the mothers will notice the duration of each contraction or of each episode of pain would be relatively more and sometimes can last as long as over 1 minute.

Strength of the contractions:

The contractions associated with false labor would most likely to be low in intensity and would not change over time as well. But, true labor contractions would be slight at first but would become stronger and stronger with time. Thus, the associated pain of true labor contractions would also grow with time.

Reducing or aggravating factors:

The false labor pains would most likely to disappear when the mother changes position or else when the mother starts to move. But, the true labor pains would not be altered in such a manner and is likely to continue at the same intensity throughout such actions.

Apart from the points that were mentioned, one should also realize that there would be other associated signs which manifest during labor and appearance of blood stained mucous from the vagina, flowing of amniotic fluid…etc would be definite indicators of labor in the last stages.