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Q&A: Is This Real Labor?

Anne Sommers, Licensed Midwife


Q How will I know for sure if I'm in real labor? I have contractions that are real strong all the time. Is there a difference in the way they feel or are they in different areas of my body?

A The contractions that you are experiencing now are preparing your body for labor. And, in fact, they are real contractions. If you are in your last weeks of pregnancy they may also feel pinchy, and they are effacing your cervix. These tummy tightening, back achy, menstrual feeling contractions are the same type as what you will feel in first stage labor.

However, the difference between what you feel now and what you will feel in established labor, is that your contractions will increase in intensity, duration and the distance apart. You may have two or three contractions an hour now that last 20-30 seconds. In established labor they will become consistant - ten, five, three minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds.

Best wishes
Anne Sommers

Click here to Ask Anne your pregnancy questions

Anne Sommers, LM is a Licensed Midwife in Southern California and founder of Agape Perinatal Consultation & Birthing Services. Anne has attended and personally delivered hundreds of beautiful bouncing babies in some very wonderful and natural settings -- like in the water! She has appeared on various Southern California radio and cable television shows, talked to birth organizations, was editor for several child birth publications and was the owner, editor and publisher of "Mom" Magazine, a quarterly publication in circulation for over seven years. She completed Seattle Midwifery School's Challenge Process and the NARM exam (supervised by the California Medical Board) qualifying her for midwifery licensure. Anne actually made history as noted in the Orange County Register for being one of Southern California's first Licensed Midwives. She is also the mother of two children, born at home, with the attendance of midwives. The Baby Corner The Baby Corner - The Magazine for Expecting & New Parents

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