False Labor vs. True Labor - Childbirth Education

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Hi, my name is Wendy Nichols. I'm a registered nurse and the childbirth instructor for Signature Medical Group.

Today we're gonna talk about labor: false labor vs. true labor

Braxton Hicks contractions, otherwise known as false labor

are a tightening sensation or contractions that are happening only in the front of your abdomen

you'll feel a balling up sensation

they are usually painless; they don't have a consistent pattern to them

and they will go away with changes in activity

If you're having 4 or more contractions an hour, then we might move into true labor

we'll go through that next

Otherwise you can do some things to help alleviate that discomfort

One is: empty your bladder A full bladder can make your uterus contract

Two is: to hydrate Drink 32 to 40 ounces of decaffeinated beverages such as water or juice

over a 30 to 45 minute period

Dehydration can also make your uterus contract

The last thing we recommend is to change your activity

if you have been up and busy and moving around, we want you to put your feet up - rest

laying on your left side is most beneficial for the baby

If you have been laying around relaxing, we would want you to get up and do some light activity such as walking

False labor or Braxton Hicks contractions will go away

they will not have a pattern, they will not be consistent, and they will not grow stronger together

Next let's talk about true labor