False vs True Labor
It can be confusing to decide if this is "real labor" A couple of trips to L&D may end with you heading back home because your cervix is not dilated.
One difference between true and false labor is that false labor (sometimes called Braxton-Hicks contractions) will not dilate your cervix. The contractions may come at regular intervals but they will not increase in strength or get closer together. For instance, they may be 5 minutes apart for hours but not change your cervix at all.
Don't worry if you can’t tell the difference; you will generally know real labor when it starts.
Signs of false labor
- Contractions will feel better while walking
- Contractions stay the same strength
- Contractions stay the same interval for long periods of time
- False labor is felt generally only in the front
- False labor does not have bloody show associated with it
Signs of true labor
- Contractions will increase in strength while you are walking
- Contractions will get stronger in intensity over time
- Contractions will gradually become closer together
- Contractions will start in your back and move to the front
- Bloody show may be present with true labor
Time your contractions for the start of one to the start of the next and keep a list of each one. Write down how long each contraction lasts. This will help you know if it is time to go to the hospital.