If you are about to give birth soon, you will (unfortunately) not be disappointed: you go contractions. During pregnancy, the chances are pretty good that you also have some experience with contractions. Although these are a lot less painful compared to the real ones during childbirth, they can cause inconveniences.
Many women find these contractions very confusing because they fear that childbirth can start any time. In this article you can read what kinds of contractions there are, what it is and how you recognize real contractions.
What are contractions?
They are caused by contractions of the muscles of your uterus. These contractions ensure that your baby is pushed out through the birth canal. The contractions cause a certain pressure on your cervix, so that it opens up little by little. This is called disclosure.
As mentioned earlier, it may happen that you already have small contractions during your pregnancy. This can be a bit scary, but it does not mean that your child is on the way to being born. Some are precursors to actual childbirth, but others do not have that much significance.
Types of contractions for childbirth
There are various types of contractions that can occur during your pregnancy like Braxton-hick contractions and pre-labor. You get the real when the delivery actually starts. These can still be divided into access problems, contractions and the post-contractions. This one types of contractions are discussed below.
Braxton-Hick contractions (hard belly)
It can happen that you have one during your pregnancy hard stomach gets. This is also called 'braxton-hick contractions or Exercise pains called. Braxton-hick contractions are caused by your uterus contracting. It is not yet the sign that you are going to give birth. What it does mean is that your womb is stretched slightly to create extra space for your growing child. During these contractions your stomach may feel hard for a few minutes and then it will drop again. In another blog you can find more information about hard bellies.
If you are still a few weeks away from your delivery, your baby will slowly start to head towards your pelvis. Many women describe this pain as stabbing in the vagina and pain in the groin. The pain lasts about 20 seconds and can last for a few hours.
If you get the contractions, this is an omen that the childbirth is slowly getting under way, but it still does not mean that you put all your baby on the world that same day. Some women have all these signs for a number of weeks.
What happens in your body at that moment? In the case of pre-contractions, your uterus contracts and the mouth of your uterus is softened. This is the preparation for the delivery. Pre-contractions are a lot more painful than a hard belly and last about 30 seconds. They can sometimes return for a few hours every 3 minutes, after a while they stay away.
Recognize real contractions
The biggest question many women ask is: how do you recognize the real contractions? In comparison with the former, they are much more severe in pain. The pain of the woe is a bit more intense every time, in contrast to the pain of pre-labor that usually remains fairly equal.
Another difference is that real contractions arise with some regularity and gradually become faster and faster. The last difference is that the pain during the wee is different. A real woe has a clear beginning, the height of pain and then ebbs away. This wave lasts about a minute, which is longer than with pre-contractions. Read more about how you can recognize real contractions.
Types of real contractions
The moment you've been looking forward to for so long is finally there.
As the name implies, it means that the opening up has started. Once you notice that you have them every 4 to 5 minutes and they last about one minute to 90 seconds, it's time to call the midwife or go to the hospital. You are now in the development phase.
Perspee are the most violent in which you also experience the most pain. You will also notice that you get a tremendous urge to press. Your access is currently almost or completely complete (10 centimeters). This moment of your birth is the moment that you go from the transition phase to the expulsion phase.
Back pains and after-effects
When your child is born you always have a afterbirth. The placenta must still be born during the afterbirth. This also causes contractions because the uterus starts to contract again. When the placenta is born, you still have afterwards because the uterus returns to its normal form.