Can you have contractions without pain? You have to admit that the thought of entering into labor frightens you.
No pregnant woman wants to experience uterine contractions before labor is triggered. Still, they appear and they are perfectly normal starting with the third trimester of pregnancy. Learn how you can make the difference between false contractions and real ones.
It may prove to be rather difficult to make the difference between a real contraction and a “false” one, especially for women who are pregnant for their first time. If the due date approaches and you aren`t sure what to do, there are some things it may be best to learn regarding the differences between contractions and the way you need to proceed.
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What Are Contractions during Pregnancy?
Contractions represent a shortening of muscle fibers in the uterine wall`s structure, shortening which makes the uterus to squeeze and push the baby outside.
Starting with the third pregnancy trimester, the uterus starts to prepare for the intense effort that it needs to make during birth, so it`s completely normal to experience false contractions, also known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are “training” or “practice” contractions, ineffective and totally normal up to a point.
As premature birth isn`t an event desired by a pregnant woman, it`s best to be careful when your contractions start to occur, so you can make the difference between them and the false ones and to be able to ask for medical assistance when labor starts.
How Are Real Contractions Manifested?
First of all, the way a real contraction is felt is really different for each and every woman, and even for each and every pregnancy. Contractions associated with labor cause discomfort or an acute pain felt in the back or inferior abdomen associated with a pressure in the pelvis. Some women may feel a pain sideways or in their thighs, while other ones describe them as strong menstrual pains, but also as strong waves similar to diarrheal cramps.
- Contractions become more rhythmical (in time, you manage to notice a pattern). If you count them, even if they are at a distance of 20 minutes one of the other, labor and birth approaches.
- The frequency of the contractions increases. From 20 minutes, the interval of time reduces to 10 minutes. Contractions continue no matter if you change your position or you move.
- Contractions increase in intensity (they become stronger, especially if you increase the level of activity or you walk). Follow their depth; when labor is concerned, you`ll make the difference when the strain progresses with each and every contraction.
- Contractions starts from the lower back and advance towards the front of the abdomen (or vice-versa).
- The duration of contractions increases (30 to 70 seconds). If they increase their length with every push, your uterus prepares for birth.
- There`s a vaginal bleeding occurring (the loss of the gelatinous plug), a loss of liquid or similar symptoms to flu (nausea, vomiting or diarrhea). The cervix becomes thinner and thinner, softer, shorter and more dilated.
Can You Have Contractions Without Pain?
There`s no way whatsoever to control a contraction. Generally, it will pass in a couple of seconds. While experiencing it, try to breathe your way out.
Real contractions are regular in interval spacing and duration. As labor evolves, contractions become longer and more intense. For instance, they might last only a few seconds at first and occur from 10 to 10 minutes, but with each hour passing, they start to last longer and occur in shorter intervals of time.
Real contractions can fell like a tightening of the uterus or a dull ache. However, they may also feel like excruciating, eye-popping pain. You`ll most definitely know if they are real contractions or not when you`ll experience them.
Still, no matter how you choose to give birth, there are several things you can do to ease your pain when contractions start to occur. If you are already in the hospital, the nurses will know what to do to take care of you.
Here are a few tips that you can use to easy your labor:
Preparing the Baby
From around 34 weeks you can start to encourage your baby to place himself in the right position, which is with his head down. Sit on your knees regularly, on a birth ball, or on a chair if you don`t have one. Avoid lying down on your back. You can also try swimming. All these things can help prepare both mother and child for birth.
Practice Exercises & Stay Active
Healthy mothers find it to be easier to pass over pain and they also tend to have a faster labor. Short walks on a daily basis before birth could help. You can also go swimming or do yoga. Easy exercises can help your baby to move through the pelvis.
During the first stage of your labor, you should try to do easy walks. Your might feel less pain and you`ll maybe have a shorter labor as well. Again, try to avoid lying down on your back.
If the person next to you is able to offer a massage, you may be able to go more easily through labor. Recent research has shown that 80% of women who received a massage during labor didn`t need so much pain relief through medications or anesthesia. The impulses induced through massage reach the brain much faster than impulses produced by pain.
Also, after 34 weeks of pregnancy, you can start easily massaging the perineum, which is the area between the vaginal opening and the anus. You can use for this almond oil or wheat germ. During birth you`ll feel more certain of your body and more relaxed when pushing. By preparing the perineum, you can avoid possible breaks or an episiotomy, which an incision of the perineum.
During hypnotherapy you`ll learn new ways of breathing, relaxation or visualization. They can help you get rid of fear, to avoid tension and to face pains during birth more easily.
It`s more likely that women who are encouraged and feel the support of a close person by their side may have a positive birth experience. For pain relief, the pregnant woman`s partner or mother can be a great “painkiller.”
Tea from Raspberry Leaves
The consumption of raspberry leaves helps the pregnant woman`s uterus to prepare for birth. This tea should be consumed 4 times per day after 36th week of pregnancy. Research shows that women who consumed this tea had a shorter labor and had less need of pain relief during birth.
This way of giving birth can offer a shorter and less painful labor. The water will usually offer relaxing and peaceful thoughts.