Are You in Labor?enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P_Are_You_in_Labor_enHD1.jpgHere's how to tell the difference between true labor and false labor -- and when to get medical care. labor, true labor, false labor, braxton hicks contractions, delivery, childbirth, contractions, pain, having a baby, pregnant, pregnancy, preemie, premature, preterm labor11/09/201610/30/201810/30/2018Armando Fuentes, MD10/22/2018e223057f-f50f-487d-a2be-25454286394ehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/true-labor.html/<p>It can be hard to tell when you are truly in labor. <strong>Contractions</strong> (belly tightening) are the main sign of labor. They last from 30 to 60 seconds and might feel like period cramps at first.</p> <p>False labor pains (called "Braxton Hicks" contractions) can happen anytime in pregnancy, but are more common toward the end.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's how to tell if you're in true labor or false labor. If you're not sure, call your health care professional right away.</p> <h3>True Signs of Labor</h3> <h4>Contractions that:</h4> <ul> <li>happen 4 times per hour or more, and get closer together (for example, they come every 15 minutes, and then every 10 or 5 minutes, etc.)</li> <li>get stronger (more painful) as time goes on and do not get better with rest</li> </ul> <h4><strong>Pelvic pressure:</strong></h4> <ul> <li>It feels like the baby is pushing down in your vagina.</li> </ul> <h4><strong>A backache:</strong></h4> <ul> <li>Some lower back pain is common during pregnancy, but in labor it will be much stronger.</li> </ul> <h4><strong>Your water breaks:</strong></h4> <ul> <li>This can feel like a gush of fluid in your underpants, or a steady trickle.</li> </ul> <p>You do not need to have all symptoms to be in true labor.</p> <h3>False Signs of Labor</h3> <h4><strong>Contractions that:</strong></h4> <ul> <li>come less than 4 times an hour</li> <li>are not regular</li> <li>do not get stronger or more painful</li> <li>come and go depending on your position (if lying down, walking, sitting, etc.)</li> </ul> <h3>Call Your Health Care Professional If:</h3> <ul> <li>You think that you are in labor.</li> </ul> <h3>Go to the ER If:</h3> <ul> <li>You have signs of labor and are less than 37 weeks pregnant.</li> <li>You don't feel your baby moving.</li> <li>Your contractions are less than 5 minutes apart.</li> <li>You are bleeding.</li> <li>You have vision changes, a headache, difficulty breathing, or sudden or severe swelling.</li> </ul>
Birth PlansThe reality of labor and birth may seem extremely far off - but now's the time to start planning for your baby by creating a birth plan that details your wishes.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/birth-plans.html/067405ca-56aa-409f-af00-da299027dcce
Cesarean Sections (C-Sections)Many babies are delivered via cesarean sections. Learn why and how C-sections are done.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/c-sections.html/3441f01d-4085-4fe3-ba1d-781e0953de92
Dealing With Pain During ChildbirthLearning all you can about childbirth pain is one of the best ways to help you deal with it when the time comes.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childbirth-pain.html/e14a0b55-eb89-472a-8179-1d3aa5771b92
EpiduralsEpidurals can make giving birth more calm, controlled, and comfortable. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/epidurals.html/cee15cbb-a39a-4efb-a0ea-4eb125b9a276
I'm Pregnant. How Can I Avoid Having My Baby Early?Find out what the experts have to say. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/prevent-preterm.html/01751bbc-f64a-4f84-a41b-4dcbc5c84ba5
Inducing LaborFind out why doctors may induce labor if you're past your due date, how it may be done, and how it may affect you and your baby.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/inductions.html/3281fb0f-d640-4dc1-b669-63c1da7f39f3
Medical Care During PregnancyThe sooner in pregnancy good careĀ begins, the better for theĀ health of both moms and their babies. Here's what to expect.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical-care-pregnancy.html/697236c0-1f7e-4c28-bfc6-39ccf8ae2624
Pregnancy & Newborn CenterAdvice and information for expectant and new parents.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/pregnancy-center.html/c58d014a-89a3-4c90-8b54-c9cadf5d6016
Recovering From DeliveryAfter giving birth, you'll notice you've changed somewhat - both physically and emotionally. Here's what to expect after labor and delivery.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/recovering-delivery.html/dcd08107-34bc-49b7-9997-1ab35a939bf6
kh:age-NAkh:clinicalDesignation-neonatologykh:clinicalDesignation-obgynkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-obgynChildbirthhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-center/childbirth/b41797d4-6886-4226-a90c-9e92f382f1d7Labor: What to Expecthttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preventing-premature-birth/labor-what-to-expect/87f1fe34-bf5c-465a-af3c-7114a2858b64