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What Do Active Labor Contractions Feel like

By August 24, 2023No Comments

Active labor contractions are a crucial part of the birthing process. For women giving birth for the first time, it can be a daunting experience as they may not know what to expect. In this article, we will discuss what active labor contractions feel like and what you can do to cope with the pain.

Active labor contractions are different from Braxton Hicks contractions, which are also known as “false” contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic, mild, and usually last for a short period. They do not lead to the birth of the baby. On the other hand, active labor contractions are more intense, frequent, and consistent, signaling that the baby is getting ready to arrive.

Active labor contractions typically start with a feeling of tightness and discomfort in your lower back or abdomen. As they progress, they become more intense and longer, usually lasting from 30 seconds up to 90 seconds. You will feel a squeezing or pressure sensation in your pelvic region, which may be accompanied by a dull pain or cramping.

As the intensity of the contractions increases, you may start to feel a wave-like sensation, where the pain builds up and then eases off slowly. Women often describe active labor contractions as feeling like intense menstrual cramps. The pain may radiate to your thighs or back and can be accompanied by a feeling of pressure in your rectum.

Coping with the pain of active labor contractions can be challenging, but there are several techniques you can use to make it more manageable. Here are some tips:

1. Breathing Techniques: Deep breathing, slow and steady breaths, and focusing on breathing can help you manage the pain of active labor contractions.

2. Massage: Gentle massage to your lower back or abdomen can help relax the muscles and ease the pain.

3. Changing Positions: Moving around and changing positions frequently can help you find the most comfortable position to deal with the pain.

4. Warm Baths or Showers: Taking a warm shower or bath can help relax your body and reduce the intensity of the contractions.

5. Medication: Pain medication is an option for women who want to reduce the intensity of the pain. Speak to your doctor or midwife about what options are available.

In conclusion, active labor contractions are intense and can be overwhelming. However, knowing what to expect and how to cope with the pain can make the experience more manageable. Remember to stay calm, breathe and utilize the tips mentioned above to make the birth of your baby as smooth and comfortable as possible.
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