Birthing Center » Labor and Childbirth » ContractionsContractions

Contractions

Contractions can feel like a tightening sensation, menstrual cramps, a dull backache or pain in the front of the thighs. To check for contractions, lie on your left side and put your fingertips just above your belly button. If you feel your muscles tighten (become hard) and relax (become soft), you may be having contractions.

Count the time between contractions from the start of one tightening to the start of another. It is normal for your uterus to contract up to five times per hour during your pregnancy. To help slow contractions, cramps or pain, drink two to three glasses of water or juice, urinate and lie down on your left side to rest.

Recheck your symptoms. If you still have signs of labor, if you think your water has broken, or if you are having bleeding, call your provider or go to the hospital birthing center immediately.

When to call your doctor?
  • If you experience more than 6 contractions in 1 hour and you less than 38 weeks pregnant
  • Any leaking fluid or if you have vaginal bleeding

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