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Preparing for Labor & Birth

Preparing for Labor & Birth

 

Labor precautions and how to know the difference between true and false labor

Spring is approaching! The newness and fresh start of this season brings peace and warmth to the heart and soul. It reminds me of new green growth, flowers blooming, bird eggs waiting to hatch, and baby animals being born. It is a great time to celebrate birth. Many of you mommies are in your third trimester, nearing delivery, and labor/birth weigh heavy on your mind at this time. 

 

“How will I know I am in labor?”

As the end of your pregnancy approaches, this might become a concern. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between aches/pains of pregnancy vs. Braxton Hicks contractions vs. real labor contractions. 

 

Braxton Hicks Contractions

These are considered “practice” contractions. They can start as early as your second trimester, but more likely occur during your third trimester. Signs that you are having Braxton Hicks contractions (and not true labor) include:

Braxton Hicks contractions can be instigated by heavy maternal and fetal activity, a touch to your belly, a very full bladder that needs to be emptied, sexual intercourse, or dehydration.

 

Labor Contractions

Unlike musculoskeletal aches and pains of pregnancy, in labor you may feel a pain that may bring you to your knees that you can’t walk, talk or text through followed by COMPLETE relief in between contractions with the process repeating itself. You will feel so vastly different during a true labor contraction as compared to the time between contractions. This allows you be able to thus time the contractions (record the number of minutes from the start of one contraction to the start of the next contraction). It will not be like pains of pregnancy that hold a more constant underlying pain that waxes and wanes. 

 

Labor may take a while to become regular. Signs of true labor can include:

 

The “5-1-1” rule…Go to the hospital if your contractions are less than 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each, and continuing for more that 1 hour. 

 

How long does labor last?

Everyone’s pregnancy and labor experience will be different. It may be faster and easier than you anticipated or longer and harder than you thought it would be. However, the following are general guidelines:

 

If you experience any of these symptoms, go to the hospital labor & delivery right away:

 

Author
Britney Gibby, DO Britney Gibby, DO, is one of the skilled physicians on the team at Premier OB-Gyn. She enjoys helping women of all ages.She has extensive experience managing high-risk obstetric patients, those with abnormal bleeding, and fertility concerns. Dr. Gibby was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Physiology and Developmental Biology with a minor in Ballroom Dance from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Dr. Gibby attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, subsequently completing her residency training in the greater Detroit area through the Henry Ford Health System. Dr. Gibby loves helping women through the delivery process. She also has special training in performing minimally invasive surgery, including robotic and vaginal gynecologic surgeries. Outside of the office, Dr. Gibby and her husband, Jared Gibby, DMD, love being parents and are blessed to have three cute sons, along with a Boxer named Marvel.

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