how do you deal with pregnancy pain? how do i know if it is a contraction or not?

Jamie - posted on 11/18/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I am due this December but have been having a lot of pain in my stomach. I went to the Dr and much to their surprise i am dilated to 2 how do i know if these pains i am having are contractions and what can i do for the pain?

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Renee - posted on 11/28/2009

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if it's a contraction you will know. they are intense & get more intenser the further you go. i reckon it's a little more painful than a period cramp but it comes in waves.

Merry - posted on 11/18/2009

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I had contractions that I thought were the real ones a week before my son was born. They didn't hurt a lot, but were every 10 minutes...I thought I was just way too tough! Then a week later, I realized what real contractions were. Wait to see if the contractions get stronger and repetitive...you'll know. Or if your water breaks, that's what happened with my daughter, which made the decision to go the hospital a lot easier!

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Heather - posted on 11/30/2009

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It is possible for someone to be dilated at the same circumfrence for months, so being 2 cm is no big deal. Contractions for me were in my bottom. Very intense pressure, not quite like a bowel movement but a lot alot alot of pressure. You will know. I did not feel them in my stomach like everyone said I would

Alison - posted on 11/24/2009

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For any pregnancy pain (pelvic pain and headaches), for me I used extra strength Tylenol while still at home but after awhile that didn't even work for me. Contractions definitely will feel alot different and will become even more intense compared to braxton hicks and you will definitely know that they are real conractions and not braxton hicks. Contractions for me had started on Sunday and were off and on, differing in times apart. My husband and I ended up going into the hospital on Monday to get me checked out since I was having spotting. The doctor checked me over and admitted me. Contractions became more intense that night and by 4am I was asking for an epidural. We had our son at 1259pm ( almost 1pm not quite) on Tuesday afternoon. Just hang in there, you can do it and before you know it, you will be welcoming your baby into the world. It's all worth it in the end when you hold and see your baby for the first time.

Krista - posted on 11/23/2009

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I know you get tired of hearing this but you will know! I had braxton hicks for a few weeks but I could tell the difference once I was having the real ones. Real contractions start in your lower back and wrap their way around your lower belly and tighten.

Kate - posted on 11/22/2009

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You will know true labor!!! I am a first time mom and was freaking out that I wouldn't know real contractions from braxton hicks... But, trust me and all the other mommys when we say you will know it. Braxton hicks feel like intense period cramps; true contractions are way more intense than any period cramp I have ever had.. I don't know if I would compare it to that, either... The best thing you can do is whatever your doctor tells you to do and breathe!

Amanda - posted on 11/22/2009

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When I had my son the contractions that I started out with didnt even hurt, my tummy just got really tight then I would have too pee. The stronger the contractions got and the closer together they got, it felt like your worst period pains ever times 10. my water never did break on its own the doc did it. My sister in law who had her son only 2 months after me had no contractions at all until her water broke when she got up to go pee in the middle of the night. So I guess what I'm saying is everyone is completly different. If you think your having a contraction feel your belly, it will be rock hard if you are! Good luck its always nerve racking with your first, cuz you just dont know.

Heather - posted on 11/21/2009

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Try a belly belt. I started to dilate WEEKS before I was due, but I was having round ligament pain. I ended up in L&D on night for hours because the pain was so bad and it was 6 weeks prior to my due date. The "round ligament is what supports the uterus and baby. The belly belt helped so much and also trying to drink lots of water to make sure I was really hydrated! (When you get really tired of all the water try flavoring it with some crystal light so you don't add the caffeine or sugar.) You can find a belly belt at the maternity stores. Good luck

Vivian - posted on 11/21/2009

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use a heating pad on your back for short periods of time no longer than 15 minutes or take a warm bath. Just be careful not to over due either and I think you'll find some comfort. Have your hubby massage ur back but when it boils down to when you go into labor some pain is part of the process but the doc and nurses will help you reach a comfort level according to ur birth plan. Goodluck! you'll do famously and when its all over you'll have that beautiful baby boy in your arms to ohhh and ahhh.

[deleted account]

those are contractions, probably braxton hicks. i had these--your stomach gets really hard for a bit then goes away. braxton hicks are random (not following a timed pattern) all it really is your body getting ready for pushing the baby out. try drinking lots of water, you also may have become dehydrated. if it is really painful or timed go to your doctor. if you go to doc or ER they will probably give you an IV.
congratulations and good luck.

Carly - posted on 11/20/2009

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It sounds like your having braxton hicks pains which prepare you however if you've been told that your 2cm dilated then be ready to go when necessary.If you have any back pain/cramping with those stomuch pains then i'd suggest gooing up asap.Best of luck for a safe and easy delevery!

Tennille - posted on 11/19/2009

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I had really bad braxton hicks for a week before i had my son. i went to the hospital and they said i was four cm dialated. the pain was mainly in my stomach and sometimes 3 mins apart sometimes 15 mins apart. then i went into real labour these started at 2.5 mins apart and wernt as painful (for the first few hours) as my braxton hicks this time the pain was in my stomach my back but i knew straight away they were real contractions some how. hope this helps

Emily - posted on 11/19/2009

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i was dialated at 36 weeks and sat at 1 for 2 weeks then at 39 weeks hit 1.5 then the day before i had my daughter i was only at 2
so u can sit at 2 4 awhile
they could just be braxton hicks
the only thing that helped some what withthe pain was rocking back and forth while sitting on the edge of the couch or chair with my legs open
good luck

Sara - posted on 11/19/2009

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I agree with the previous posts that suggested getting into the tub or shower: if they get more intense, you're in labor. If they don't... it's BH or early labor. Your body does give you other little signs: mucous plug (which may come gradually over a day or two), bloody show, feeling of pressure (or sometimes feeling really really constipated) and other things.
I also think they're similar to very intense period cramps (I remember thinking it was odd that I didn't feel them at the top of my abdomen... I guess I expected the baby to squeeze out from the end, like toothpaste).
When you do get to those contractions - I found telling myself that the contractions are intense, powerful and productive (not painful) to kept me more calm and focused and relaxed. And you NEED to relax to get that baby out! Try not to clench up.

Good luck and congratulations, momma! You'll be great!

Kimberely - posted on 11/19/2009

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I went into false labor 5 or 6 times the two weeks before my baby was born. and I was dialated 3cm for those 2 weeks. You know when it is a real contraction because you cant talk or walk through the pain. i found what helped me with the braxton hicks false labor was swaying my hips on a yoga ball

[deleted account]

I like what my midwife told me when I was wondering if my contractions were the real thing or just Braxton Hicks. She said, "It sounds like your contractions are just whispering to you right now, when they start shouting is when you need to go to the hospital." I had mild contractions for several days before my son was born and I don't think it's that uncommon to be somewhat dilated for awhile before you give birth.

Kathy - posted on 11/19/2009

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I personally wouldn't compare the pain to period pain... I'd compare braxton hicks to that. If you get to the hospital and they think its not time they will send you home... they threatened to send me home when mine were only 2 minutes apart... thank god the dr filling in for mine took his time, by time he did anything I was @ 3cm and moved to the delivery room.

Julia - posted on 11/19/2009

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if you are dialating you are having contractoins there not regular ones though u will know when you are having them lay down and brethe you will feel better put a pillow under one side of your backbrethe when they come regular they will come one after the other it feels like it will get stronger and stronger if you keep hurting all day and night go to the hospital you dont have much time left congrats i quess this is your first enjoy the time you have with them they are special in every way i have 3 of my own and good luck let me know how it went daer

Jackie - posted on 11/19/2009

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1) If you are having any pains in your back, tummy or legs/hips. You need to run a very hot bath. Soak in the bath for 20 minutes with your tummy under the water. This may mean you will have to lay on your side. When you get out of the bath if the pains are wrose then you are in real labour. If the pains go away it was false labour.

2) You can't do anything medical for the pain to be 100% honest. Do not take any pain killers because you want your body drug free for when heavy labour starts so you have more option. Now for a list of things that can help that is none medical....

a) Walk.. walking is important now even if you aren't in pain. Gravity is your friend and use it to your advantage. Women who walk in the early stages of labour *which you are in* and continue to until they can't take it any more generally have shorter labours.

b) Bath/shower again this will help sooth even real contractions. The key is to keep the water on the belly. So either under water in the bath or spraying the water on your belly in the shower.

c) Bending at the end of a bed or on all 4s on the floor/bed and having some one massage your lower back and hips.

d) Breathing.. its so important not to hold your breath during the pain. I say this because I'm a breath holder in pain and have to be reminded to breath.

e) Nest. This will keep you on your feet and distract you from the minor pains. But remember to take it easy while nesting. No moving the fridge to wash behind it because you haven't seen back there in 2 years!

Good luck and hope these help you a little bit.

Danielle - posted on 11/19/2009

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nearer to ur due date u get a few pains hear n dere...braxton hicks contractions. but when its a contraction it a pain that lasts a few seconds then u could get one half an our later 20mins 15mins etc.. untill baby arrives contractions feel like really really bad period pains and ur stomach jus tenses up through out the pain and they get more pain full as time gose on u'l knowe when ur gettin one hope dats helps a bit..

Lisa - posted on 11/19/2009

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I agree my contractions feelt like strong period pain at first - a few days before i went into laubour!! You will know when their real contractions ... I was alwys worried I'd not be able to tell ... But you can!!!

Nikita - posted on 11/18/2009

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if your tummy goes hard when the pain comes like all the muscles are tensing then it is proberly a contraction. but you will know, believe me! my contractions were never regular, sometimes they were 8 mins apart sometimes they were 2 mins apart, and everything they told me went out the window because it just want like what everyone was telling me. what i mean is, if you have a gut feeling just go with it. Even midwives told me i was wrong and i wasn't.

Natasha - posted on 11/18/2009

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i am a first time mom and i was so scared that i wasnt going to be able to tell if i was in labour or not. once you are actually in labour you will KNOW i promise you. its like a strange pain like you have never felt before. all of sudden all those pains and aches that made you feel uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy seem so mild.

your body will tell you when its time and you will be ready :)

Kathy - posted on 11/18/2009

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First of all... your dr doesn't start your labor... your body does, but they wait till 3cm before they put you in a birthing/delivery room. Trust me you'll know when your in labor, they are massive cramps, they hurt bad!!! I had back labor with my daughter, and I seriously thought I was going to die from the pain.

[deleted account]

it's like small sharp pains in ur pelvis like period pains mine stated 3am and went on till 8:20pm which is when i had my daughter they will get worse and quicker but try not to think of them thik of your son/daughter waiting to meet you but my advice which helped for me while waiting to go to hospital was lie on the bed on my side with a pillow between my legs and each time the contraction happened i would grip the pillow
good luck

April - posted on 11/18/2009

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You will know a contraction when it happens. We all ask that question. The D.r will not start your labor until you have passed a 3cm. I had a friend sit on 3cm for almost 3 weeks until they figured that one week early wasn't going to hurt the baby. unless your baby is stressing out you will have to just deal with the pain. I know it stucks to hear that but there isnt much your dr can do for you right now until you have dilated more. Pain is just your baby getting ready contactions are different. You will know when you are contracting that is all I can say. The dr also told me to drink and 8oz glass of water then lay down for one hour and if the pain doesn't go away then you are in labor. sometimes your body just needs to practice before you baby is completely ready.

Renee - posted on 11/18/2009

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hey..mine sarted of like sharp peroid pains,every now and then and got stronger and closer together..it frigen hurts you will def know, some peoples waters dont every break until the last min and may not even notice the plug thing come away, our daughter was posteroir position (back to back)3 days in laybor..check with your mid wife wot position your babys in,cause i was like 4cm dilated only on the 2nd day and i was in a lot of pain + bugged had to have a epedural in the end..

[deleted account]

well what the hospital told me with my last baby is that if you drink a lot of water and the pain doesn't go away then you are in true labor. Good luck. let me know how it goes.

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