How will I know when it is real labor?” This is a question you may have as you near the end of your pregnancy.

Many women have periods of “false” labor late in their pregnancy. During false labor, you have contractions that seem to come and go. False labor pains are called “Braxton Hicks” contractions. These contractions help soften and thin your cervix. They tend to happen more often as you get closer to your due date (2 to 4 weeks before birth). Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between false labor and true labor.

Don’t be upset or embarrassed if you think labor is beginning when it is actually a false alarm. Knowing the differences between true and false labor can help you towards the end of your pregnancy Contractions;

False labor contractions are irregular,they do not get closer together overtime

True labor contractions come regularly and get closer together. Each contraction last about 30-60 seconds Change with movement

False labor contraction may stop if you slow down, change position or lie down

True Labor contractions continue no matter what you do strenght of contraction

False labor contractions are weak and do not get stronger

True Labor contraction get stronger as time goes on Pain

False labor contraction is usually felt in front like menstrual cramps

True labor pressure start from the back and moves to the front If your water breaks Sometimes labor begins when the bag of waters, or membranes, breaks. This may happen with your early contractions. Or your water may not break until later into your labor.

If your water breaks, you may notice a near constant trickle of fluid from the vagina or a sudden gush of fluid. 

Other physical changes You also may have physical changes that occur as your body gets ready for labor. It is normal to have a slight increase of thin, white discharge at the end of pregnancy. Activities like coughing, sneezing, or laughing may cause leaking of urine. You also may notice a change in appetite, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. The loss of your mucus plug often precedes labor by a few days. Mucus may be present 2 to 14 days before true labor begins. Everyone experiences labor in a different way. Call your doctor if you think you are in labor.

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