Contractions are uterine contractions that recur periodically and are accompanied by pulling pain in the lower abdomen or lower back. Every woman preparing for childbirth should know how to understand that labor has begun.
At the very beginning of the fight, weak ones appear, lasting several seconds and with 10-minute intervals between them. But there are cases when not too strong fights begin immediately with a small interval of 5-6 minutes.
Contractions gradually become the most frequent, prolonged, pain intensifies. A pregnant woman feels a sense of pressure in the abdominal cavity – these are rhythmic contractions of the uterus. Usually they do not bring much discomfort. It seems that the uterus becomes heavy, and pressure is felt throughout the stomach. What is important here is not the fact of contraction itself, but its rhythm. A future mother can feel the uterus contract a couple of weeks before her baby is born. But if a long and regular rhythm is not established, they do not mean the beginning of childbirth.
When real labor pains begin, the intervals between them gradually become smaller. This continues until the uterine contractions begin to repeat every three minutes. It should be noted that pain is absent with a relaxed abdomen, between contractions. Very often, the sensation of the first contractions appears in the stomach, but sometimes it happens in the lower back. It seems that the pain rolls in a wave, starting in the center of the back. Then it splits and spreads over the hips, connecting in the stomach.
The contractions are weak at first, similar to light tweaks. Then they intensify, gradually becoming a duration of 6-10 seconds. They appear more and more often until they begin to repeat at certain intervals. If a woman gives birth for the first time, usually the duration of labor is delayed by 10-12 hours. In pregnant women giving birth to a second or third child, labor lasts 6-8 hours. Depending on how frequent the contractions are, you can determine the time of the trip to the hospital.
Time for a trip to the hospital
The best option would be to go to the hospital at the frequency of contractions at least once every ten minutes. Another sign that childbirth begins is the leakage of amniotic fluid in small portions or their full outflow. In this case, it is no longer necessary to wait for the start of labor, you should go to the hospital immediately. Because the duration of the anhydrous interval can further complicate the course of childbirth or an infection can penetrate the uterus.
In some cases, the fetal bladder leaks much more slowly, but it happens that it suddenly bursts at the most unexpected moment, as a result of which the waters come out in a strong stream. With repeated birth, situations happen that the fetal bladder bursts even before the rhythmic contractions of the uterus begin. At the same time, the pregnant woman does not feel pain, but can be very scared. Read more about what contractions during pregnancy look like and what sensations appear during labor pains →
After the water has gone, it is necessary to immediately inform the doctor about this. Even if there are no rhythmic contractions, which can occur only after a few hours. In practice, there have been cases when contractions began within three days after the discharge of the waters. But be that as it may, the discharge of water is the main indicator that childbirth will occur relatively soon.
Urgently, without hesitation and without consulting anyone, it is necessary to go to the hospital when there is blood discharge from the genital tract. Mucous discharge in pregnant women appears a couple of days before the birth. They are not significant, but are often stained with blood. Thus, the contents of the cervical canal – the mucous plug. This occurs when uterine contractions have already begun. Due to this, the cervical canal expands and the mucous plug is forced out. This plug keeps the canal closed throughout pregnancy.
Preparation for childbirth
When a woman does not know how to determine the start of contractions, it scares her. After all, nothing can scare a person so much as the unknown. An awe-inspiring event is best to go forward. That is why a woman preparing for childbirth, certainly need to know everything about their course. In particular, the part that a woman herself should take in all this.
To begin with, it’s worth talking about the system of psycho-preventive preparation for such an important event in life. Such training is carried out in domestic health schools. Now the country has created many courses on a commercial basis for preparing pregnant women for childbirth. Courses perceive Western advanced ideas in the field of gynecology. But for many pregnant women, because of the high prices, they are not available. Therefore, just the way will be the traditional courses that are held in antenatal clinics located in district clinics.
The group consists of five couples, and such preparation begins, which includes 4 classes, usually at the 34th week of pregnancy. In the first lesson, the anatomy of the female reproductive system and the mechanisms of the appearance of painful sensations are introduced. In the second lesson, the first period of labor is specified. Women are told about fights and how to behave during them. Expectant mothers are trained to breathe correctly. This is necessary so that the uterus and fetus are well supplied with oxygen.
Also, proper breathing is necessary in order to prevent pain, since deep breathing with the stomach at the beginning of contractions helps to relax, and when contractions intensify deep breathing is necessary by the chest. Normal breathing should only be in between uterine contractions. Particular attention in the second lesson is given to psychological distraction, relaxation and massage. All the skills that pregnant women receive in the classroom should be worked out at home before automatism.
In the third lesson, acquaintance with subsequent periods of childbirth – the second and third. Describes the poses that will be most effective with attempts, pushing special breathing. It can reduce pain and facilitate expulsion of the fetus. All these classes are also fixed by regular classes at home. In the fourth lesson, all the material passed is fixed and the questions arising during the course are resolved.
If the fights started at home
So, if a woman is preparing to give birth soon, she needs to know what to do if contractions begin. If the cervix has opened and pushed out the mucous plug, stained with blood, you do not need to raise a panic and call the midwife. This can happen a few days before the contractions begin. Therefore, after the exit of the mucous plug, you need to wait until the pain in the back or stomach becomes constant, and the interval between contractions is regular. Or wait until the amniotic fluid leaves.
After the water has departed or depart a little, it is necessary to immediately call an ambulance. Even if uterine contractions have not yet begun, hospitalization will be safer. Waiting for doctors, you need to put a waffle towel to absorb. With the appearance of dull pain in the back and hips, gradually developing into abdominal pain, similar to painful menstruation, you need to know that these are signs of the onset of contractions.
It is necessary to fix the interval between contractions when they become regular. If it becomes clear that the contractions have nevertheless begun, call an ambulance or a midwife. Before the interval between them is up to five minutes, it is not necessary to rush to the hospital. Since the first birth usually drags on for ten hours, it is better this time to stay at home. Walk slowly, stopping periodically to rest. Until the water has passed, it will be useful to take a warm shower or eat something light.
We must not confuse the battle with the harbingers. Harbingers of contractions can occur throughout the entire period of pregnancy. But closer to the onset of labor, in about a few weeks, they can become more intense and more frequent. When such reductions are felt, you need to pay attention to whether the intervals between them become smaller, since the precursors are usually not regular. It is necessary to monitor the dynamics of contractions within an hour, fixing the beginning and end, how often and stronger they become. The duration of regular contractions should be at least 40 seconds.
At the stage of the first period, the muscles of the uterus contract to open the neck and pass the fetus. It is possible that during this period the first-born expectant mother may be seized by panic, but you need to remain calm. Upon arrival at the hospital, the pregnant woman will undergo examinations. Her heart rate, blood pressure and temperature are measured. An internal examination is performed to determine how much the cervix has opened.
They will determine what position the child is in, probing the stomach. Listen to the fetal heartbeat with a stethoscope. Next, you already need to follow the instructions that were given at the courses or with the advice of a doctor and midwife, right up to the start of attempts and giving birth to a baby. Before the birth, it is necessary to maintain strength, as they will be very needed during childbirth.