How to Tell When Labor Begins


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    How to Tell When Labor Begins

    False Labor True Labor
    Timing of contractions Often irregular and do not consistently get close together  Come at regular intervals and, as time goes on, get closer and closer together
    Change with movement Contractions may stop when you walk, rest, or with a change in position. Contractions continue despite movement,position rest, or change in position
    Location of contractions Often felt in abdomen only Usually felt in back and wrap around to front-may feel like a bad backache or menstrual cramp

    Time your contractions for 2 hours. During true labor…………

    • Contractions last 40-70 seconds

    • They occur at regular intervals

    • They don’t go away with rest or when you move around.

    • Once your contractions occur every 5 to 10 minutes for 2 hours or greater — it is time to call your doctor.

    Other reasons to call your doctor…………

    • Your membranes rupture (your “water breaks”), even if you are not having contractions. You will feel a continuous gush or trickle of watery fluid from your vagina.

    • You are bleeding from the vagina.

    • You have constant, severe pain — do not wait for an hour to pass.

    • Decrease in baby movement — your baby should continue to move up to and even during labor.

    Remember, your due date is only a guideline. Labor is unpredictable and often happens a little early or a little late, which is no cause for anxiety or alarm.
    Plans to go to the hospital…………
    Planning ahead is often beneficial and will decrease your stress when labor begins.
    Think about: distance, transportation, home arrangements

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    Atlantic Gynecology offers online appointment scheduling so you can book your appointment at your convenience. You can also call the office to schedule.

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