Everything You Need To Know About Contractions

featured image2(A guideline on what do contractions feel like)

Before entering into the topic ‘what do contractions feel like’, we should initially comprehend what a contraction is? As the name suggests, during a contraction the uterus tightens or contracts. After that, it releases and relaxes. It’s something like flexing the bicep and relaxing.

The uterus is the largest muscle in a lady’s body in the nine months of pregnancy. When it contracts it gives a very intense feeling.

The body is preparing for the birth of a baby through the form of contractions. It helps the body to push the baby out. Contractions can feel like an extremely solid menstrual issue or tightening in the lower stomach area.

Contractions may begin as a low-level menstrual cramp feeling at the beginning. But as the labor advances, it will get more grounded and more extreme. Once the infant begins to slide into the pelvis, it will feel more weight in the lower pelvis, vagina, and anus.

Types of contractions

It’s a normal issue to wonder when labor may begin and how it will feel. It depends on the types of contractions that what it feels like. There are a few distinct sorts of contractions, and they’re not all related to labor.

Here’s a manual for what sorts of contractions you may experience, what they’ll feel like, and how to realize when it’s an ideal time to go to the clinic.

Braxton-Hicks contractions

Braxton-Hicks contractions are popularly known as false labor. Around the fourth month of pregnancy, a pregnant woman will start to notice that the uterus is contracting from time to time. This is known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. It will not be felt regularly or frequently. With this, the body is preparing its uterine muscles for the delivery day.

Labor contractions

Dissimilar to Braxton-Hicks contractions, the true labor contractions do not back off or quiet with the measures like drinking water and resting. Rather they get longer, more grounded and frequent. Labor contractions are attempting to expand the cervix.

False labor contractions

  • Usually painless
  • Mainly concentrated in the abdomen area
  • The belly feels tight
  • Makes an uncomfortable feeling at times

Most importantly, the false labor contractions do not cause any change to the cervix. It doesn’t get stronger, longer or frequent either.

False labor contractions may happen when a mom is tired, dried out or on the feet excessively. It may ease up if a pregnant woman changes what she was doing.

Before calling for the specialist, attempt the following strategies to check whether the contractions ease up or leave totally.

  • Drink a lot of water
  • Change positions
  • Stop what you’re doing and rest (ideally on the left side)

Preterm labor contractions

If regular contractions happen before 37 weeks, it might be an indication of premature labor. Regular contractions timing follows a pattern. If a pregnant woman is getting contractions in every 10 to 15 minutes for over an hour or so, she may be in preterm labor.

During these preterm labor contractions, the whole abdomen will get hard to touch. The uterus will tighten and it may feel like-

  • Dull spinal pain
  • More weight in the pelvis
  • A heavyweight in the belly
  • Cramping

With this signs and if there are vaginal bleeding, diarrhea or a gush of watery discharge, a doctor should be called immediately.

Early labor contractions

Early labor contractions are still fairly mild. The tightening will endure somewhere in the range of 30 to 90 seconds. Early labor contractions are composed, coming at standard interims of time. They may begin dispersed far separated, however when a pregnant woman is nearing the finish of early labor, they ought to be near only five minutes separated.

As the cervix begins to open, tinged discharge from the mucous plug may come out. From the vagina, the water may break in a little stream or they may come out as an enormous surge of fluid.

Active labor contractions

Active labor contractions may happen frequently five to seven minutes apart. They are related to the cervical changes.

Transition contractions

Transition contractions are the ones regularly imitated on TV. These contractions happen more often than the active labor contractions. Transition contractions are expected to drive the child out of the vagina. And obviously, this is the hardest part of the labor.

Back contractions

Once in a while, the positioning of the child or force of uterine compressions can make a pregnant woman feel agonizing contractions at consistent interims in their back. This is termed back contractions.

How long do contractions last?

After a pregnant woman starts having regular contractions it will appear more frequently and consistently until the delivery of the child. The following can give an idea of the timing and the stages of labor contractions a pregnant woman will experience.

Early labor

Early labor contractions endure around 8 to 12 hours. These contractions come in every 5 to 30 minutes and last for 30 seconds.

Active labor

Active labor contractions endure around 2 to 3.5 hours. These contractions come in every 3 to 4 minutes and last for almost a minute.


The transition is the shortest contraction in the range of time. But, it is the toughest part of labor. It lasts from 15 minutes to one hour. These contractions come frequently and last 60 to 90 seconds. In this part, the cervix dilates to 10 cm for delivery.

What to do during contractions to manage the intensity?

Contractions are agonizing. But they likewise have some reasons as the body prepares its parts for the child delivery. There are many medical and chemical remedies for this, but with some few techniques, the natural birth is very much possible.

  • Strolling, changing positions, and utilizing a birthing ball are largely extraordinary approaches to guarantee you remained dynamic and drew in amid contractions.
  • Backrub, counter pressure, and pressure point massage are relieving ways that your accomplice or doula can enable simplicity to torment in particular regions.
  • Profound breathing, reflection, and water births can enable you to remain quiet.
  • Affirmation can be an intense device to enable you to remain certain of your capacity to deliver normally.

It is a difficult task to realize whether contractions mean that the infant is en route or if the uterus is just practicing for the delivery ahead. If you are in doubt don’t feel shy to consult or call your doctor. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Time your contractions carefully and observe some other side effects you’re encountering so you can report them to your specialist.

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I am a toxicologist with diverse academic training in biology, immunology, and environmental sciences. After several years in academia teaching graduate level toxicology courses and doing program development, I started blogging to pursue my interest in open access publishing and science communication. I currently write on general healthcare and healthcare related issues. My blog is all about healthy living and healthcare tips. I try to provide my readers with proper health care tips and guides to follow for a better and healthy life. I have been honing my skills in the healthcare sector to give my readers a resourceful insight in general healthcare. I completed my graduation from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases. I live in London with my wife and two children.


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