In the last trimester of pregnancy, a woman has many questions – how to recognize the onset of contractions, what contractions look like, how severe the pain will be. The last months of pregnancy are characterized by a change in the hormonal background of the woman.
First, the hormone progesterone that preserves pregnancy predominates. Then, estrogens begin to play the main role, which contribute to the appearance of contractions, thus preparing the woman for childbirth.
What are the contractions?
Contraction is an alternating contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the uterus. They are divided into training and generic. As a rule, the appearance of the first contractions means the approach of childbirth.
The first contractions usually start from the 20th week of pregnancy and are irregular, short-lived and painless. A high tone of the uterus and discomfort are easily removed by a warm bath or walking.
Training fights have intervals of an average of 30-40 minutes in 4 hours. They do not increase in time and do not become more intense, as occurs during labor pains. Hospitalization in such cases is not required. You just need to use the opportunity to “get your hand” in calculating the intervals and duration of each fight, so that when labor occurs, the woman in labor does not get confused.
The feeling of contractions in each pregnant woman is different. For example, some feel girdle pains around the abdomen and pelvis. Others note a similarity to an upset bowel or to the onset of menstruation.
Considering the general signs of contractions before childbirth, 3 periods of the process are distinguished:
- initial (lasts about 8 hours, duration of contractions 45 sec., interval 5 min.);
- active (lasts 5 hours, contractions up to 60 seconds, interval 4 minutes);
- transitional (lasts 1 hour, duration 90 sec, interval 1 min.).
Sensations during contractions
The onset of labor is described as painful muscle tension in the upper part of the uterus. At first, this sensation reaches maximum strength, and then gradually weakens.
At first, contractions in pregnant women cause simply unpleasant sensations. Some women feel the first pain in the lower back, which is becoming stronger and more powerful.
As labor activity continues, the number of contractions and their intensity increase, the duration becomes longer, and the pauses between them are shorter. Having reached its highest point, contractions become like hot lava flowing throughout the body from the crown to the heels.
What happens to the uterus?
The upper part of the uterus with each contractions decreases in size and becomes thicker, and the internal cavity contracts, which helps the baby to move along the birth canal. At the end of childbirth, contraction and relaxation of the uterine muscles continues until this organ takes on its size as before pregnancy.
A woman can feel these contractions for another month and a half. Breastfeeding will also contribute to these contractions and, accordingly, help restore the postpartum form.
Fights have begun
First of all, do not be nervous and scared. It is necessary to take a comfortable position and begin to record the time of the onset of labor. If between the first fights it takes about 20 minutes, then a woman can calmly pack up, take a shower with the participation of loved ones.
If the intervals between contractions are 5 minutes, then it’s time to go to the maternity hospital. At this time, water may flow away, and here the control of doctors is already necessary.
How to reduce pain during contractions?
Medicine can relieve a pregnant woman from pain during contractions and childbirth with the help of certain medications. But here there is a danger of adverse effects on mom and baby.
The most reliable and safe way to reduce the pain of a pregnant woman is proper breathing. The beginning of the fight should accompany the exhalation, with which the pain “leaves” the body. A woman can scream during fights – this will facilitate her condition.
The positive psychological state of the woman is also very important. She should tune in to a quick meeting with her baby. Also, the woman in labor must correctly understand what actions the doctors take and how the birth occurs.
In the interval between contractions, you need to relax and rest. If the next fight is expected in tension, then fatigue will quickly come.
It is worth noting that labor is a natural process that every pregnant woman goes through. But the phenomenon is strictly individual, therefore it is very difficult to describe all the sensations.
In any case, do not be afraid of the contractions and pain that accompanies them. All this will be forgotten at the birth of a small miracle, which will replace the universe.