There are different types of contractions during the third trimester of pregnancy, it is possible to distinguish them because some contractions do not announce the imminence of childbirth.
- There are different types of contractions, not all of which announce the imminence of childbirth.
- Knowing how to differentiate them can make it possible to predict whether or not you will leave for maternity ward.
- If your water breaks, and whatever the type of contractions, it is a sign that the baby is ready to be born.
Pregnancy can be a wonderful time of life, but it comes with some inconveniences. Contractions are one of the pains that expectant mothers experience. Knowing how to identify the type of contractions felt allows you to judge whether childbirth is approaching.
“False contractions” or Braxton-Hicks contractions
There are different types of contractions that do not have the same meaning. “False contractions,” or Braxton-Hicks contractions, can begin as early as the 6th week of pregnancy, but generally do not get worse until the second or third trimester. Several criteria allow them to be distinguished: first of all, they are felt in the pubic region or in the front of the body, but not in the back. The contractions do not come closer together in time and their strength does not change. They are irregular and annoying, even a little painful. By walking or lying down, it is sometimes possible to make them disappear.
Then other contractions occur as labor approaches. They are generally stronger, more regular and longer than Braxton-Hicks contractions, but do not signal that labor has started. They would make sure to help the baby position himself before labor begins. These are the contractions that allow the cervix to dilate.
They can be identified by certain symptoms: difficult breathing between contractions, pressure in the pelvis, pain coming from the back and moving towards the front of the body and severe cramps. Contractions last at least 45 seconds and come closer together (every five minutes). The mother-to-be should prepare to go to the hospital as soon as they show up.
When the cervix is dilated by at least six cm, we speak of labor contractions. They take place every five minutes and last at least one minute. The uterus does not relax between these contractions and back pain increases as the baby’s head descends. These contractions indicate that the baby is about to be born.
To relieve pain during pregnancy, it is essential to continue physical activity without risk of falls or shocks. Yoga or swimming are particularly recommended. Certain methods can also help to better support contractions, such as meditation or relaxation, listening to music, practicing a manual activity or even breathing essential oils. The pain of contractions can be eased by any distracting activity.
However, when the mother-to-be’s water breaks, it is imperative to go to the hospital or call your midwife, regardless of the contractions you feel. The breaking of water is the ultimate sign that birth is imminent.