The Road to Motherhood: What You Need to Know About Contractions

pregnancy contractions
It’s the biggest concern of every expecting mom to ensure the safe delivery of their child. This often involves a number of preparations, such as strict diet monitoring, following prenatal workouts, regular consultation to the OB/GYN, and proper timing of labor contractions.

While there are many things involved, you should focus more on helping yourself (or a soon-to-be-mom you know) to time their contractions. Before getting into detail, here’s a quick definition of what contraction means:

What is Labor Contraction?

Labor contraction is the periodic tightening and relaxing of the uterine muscle. Many moms often describe it as tightening or cramp-like sensation, which moves back and around their womb in a wave motion. These periodic contractions can be classified into three stages:

  1. Practice Contractions (Braxton Hicks Contractions) – These occur during the first or second trimester of your pregnancy. The process doesn’t cause any cervical dilation, but it helps get the cervix ripe.
  2. False Labor Contractions – The sensation often feels like mild menstrual cramps that stop when you change positions. Along with that, they happen at irregular intervals. During this period, the contractions are usually felt in the lower abdomen rather than the lower back.
  3.  Labor Contractions – Weeks before the delivery date, you’ll start experiencing the signs of “real labor” that lead to labor contractions. You’ll know you’re going through this stage when:
  • It intensifies when you’re changing positions rather than feeling relief.
  • It becomes more frequent and regular, as it progresses and often lasts about 30 to 70 seconds for each contraction.
  • You start producing a bloody show or blood-tinged mucus
  • It may be accompanied by cramps, mild diarrhea, and cramps.

Timing Your Contractions

Once your contractions have become irregular and you’re almost at your due date, it’ll now become a valuable rest period for you, your baby, and your body. This is why Bloomlife and physicians suggest learning how to time your contractions accurately. There are a number of ways for you to do it. Be sure you fully understand or have someone record it for you to prepare your body for the labor itself.

Understanding contraction might be one stage you have to go through, but it is important to know how and what it could do to your body when you’re pregnant. Take the time to read and learn these things to guarantee a healthy and safe delivery.