What do contractions feel like?

You wanted to know what contractions feel like and everyone’s telling you they feel like period cramps but you
haven’t had a period for years
You just can’t relate to that and there are a lot of different sensations that women associate with contractions

Most common sensation associated with contractions

The most common sensation associated with contractions is indeed lower abdominal cramping or like really intense period cramps
But you probably  will also feel a lower back ache you’ll have abdominal tightening and pressure
 Some people also feel pains and their thighs too like they’ve just ran a marathon but they haven’t exercised for
nine months
These are the most common sensations that women associate with contractions and you feel abdominal tightening and pressure
Because your uterus is actually a big muscle and it’s tightening and you have no control over this
It’s involuntary it just tightens and it releases and this is caused by different hormones and changes in your body
You may hear some women say that they had really bad back labor and so that just means that along with the tightening and pressure and cramping
They also had really intense back pain it’s experienced like right where your back meets your butt cheeks

Understanding the Scale of Your Pain

It’s just really a key and sometimes it feels better for someone to rub it and I think it’s always good to be prepared
for labor pain to be the worst pain
You’ve had in your life up to that point at least I hope that source pain you’ve had to experience in your life
Up to that point that way you won’t be caught off guard by it and when you come to the hospital to be checked
We will ask you what’s your pain on a scale from zero to ten and it’s good to be realistic about it and to remember
that a ten is like surgery with no anesthesia
Is the worst pain you could ever imagine having not the worst pain you’ve had in your life
Because if you compare it to the worst pain you’ve had in your life then you’ll probably feel like it’s like a 13 14 15 and the scale ends at 10
Women would come in and rate their pain at a 10 and then we checked their cervix and they were only one centimeter dilated and ultimately ended up getting sent home
And so obviously their pain scale would have to readjust a little bit and they’d realize that it’s going to get worse
this so realistically when by the time they were sent home they’re like okay
I guess my pain is like a five or six I think when you’re thinking about the pain scale it’s good to think about like
a headache
Everyone’s experienced a headache at some point and wanted to take some Tylenol for it and I think the point at
which most people want to take a Tylenol
So that it won’t get worse is like maybe a four or a five and so that’s kind of how you should think about contractions
at what point is it starting to affect your ability to function
Because once you’re in like the 7 8 9 10 range you cannot function
So you can’t say your pains and 8 while talking or texting or laughing during contractions because at an 8 you’re not functional
You have to stop whatever you’re doing and focus on the pain in order to cope with it during the contraction it’s
really all about intensity and frequency
You may have contractions that aren’t that intense you may just experience a little bit of abdominal tightening and
pressure and these may happen a few times a day earlier on in the pregnancy
 These are by definition Braxton Hicks contractions they’re infrequent and uncomfortable but not painful but
they are indeed contractions
That’s the uterus squeezing and tightening but there is going to be a point at which the squeezing and tightening is more intense and they’re happening more frequently

When contraction become a sign to a labor?

The true definition of labor is cervical dilation from hour to hour as a result of regular and intense contractions
So again you’re looking for lower abdominal cramping lower back ache abdominal tightening pressure and
sometimes pain in your thighs
Those are the sensations associated with contractions and if you are less than 37 weeks along and feeling like you’re
contracting four to five times an hour which is only every 10 to 15 minutes
Then you should actually be checked out because the whole point is we don’t want your cervix to be changing as a result of contractions
Because you’re still early and it could put your baby at risk
If you were to deliver prematurely and so your doctor will want the chance to slow or stop them and so it’s better to
go in sooner rather than later
But once your full-term or 37 weeks and beyond you can go to the hospital once they’re happening like every four to five minutes and they’re actually hurting and you’re needing to breathe through them
Because that’s usually what it takes in order for your cervix to change
If you have more specific questions about it talk with your doctor and they’ll be able to give you tailored information
and advice

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