Picture this, you are in the later stages of your pregnancy - nine months into it to be precise. You've been prepped more times than a Christmas turkey for labour but on this particular day, you feel off. Intense pain and discomfort seem to come in waves; could it be contractions? Well, here is the low-down on everything contraction related.
What Are Contractions?
Contractions are muscle tightening's that help push your baby through the birth canal. Shortening and lengthening muscles is a normal occurrence when giving birth as they primarily aid in gripping the baby's head so that it passes safely from one stage of labor to another.
Don't worry if you can't tell them apart from round ligament pain (RLP) or Braxton Hicks contractions since knowing such details isn't required by any means.
However, if want are itching for some understanding about how these work horses function read ahead:
- Contractions may vary according to individual experience.
- Their frequency can range anywhere between 5 minutes up until an hour interval-wise.
- Onset pain level can differ depending on their strength.
The severity of each passing five-minute intense episode will determine whether now might be a good time for heading towards hospital direction as delivery approacheth closer than ever before.
Understanding The Basics
Before starting with comparisons between period cramps and contractions, let us get acquainted with three critical phases experienced during natural childbirth:
Early Labor Phase
Lasting anywhere around 8-12 hours after onset labor pains begin gradually spreading over time. It takes place mostly at home as there remains no urgency to seek medical attention just yet.
Active Labor Stage
Muscle contraction increasing brings us conveniently overactive labor phase where real dilation begins. The active counterpart lasts around four-six cm dilated worth double-digit figures!
Push! Or Second Stage
The time for pushing your little one out has finally arrived as you employ breathing techniques to ease this part of the process. Airing lows and highs in a rhythmic manner helps expediting energy reserves extensively during those last couple of pushes! So brave!
How Do Contractions Feel Like?
Imagine being on your period, only multiply/reject all previous pain experienced about 100-fold with few other additional thoughts such as: + Building sensation coming from inside, + Lower back pressure
Or, it might feel like small fists punching downwards making way towards freedom, which is quite similar to RLP except involving a separate organ.The uterus, of course.
During early labor stages contractions are comparatively less painful than their later counterparts occurring after intervals usually every fifteen minutes until they gain momentum.
What About Period Cramps Then?
Period cramping refers mostly along with menstrual cycle-induced irritation because its onset occurs around that same time every month.
Symptoms associated with menstruation include; The feeling of heavy weight exerting unjustly upon wombs bearing slightly different qualities than during childbirth contraction pains.
And even though there exists no clear-cut answer whether or not menstrual distress feels akin to intensity levels correlated by labourous encounters we can help distinguish between both through dividing each symptom into individualized traits such .
On one hand - crabby moods and snapping due to discomfort coupled with bulky garments sends majority straight for comfort zones within corners neglected by mankind itself!
Of particular note, though menstrual symptoms sometimes have been known to accompany childbirths senerios— an awkward twist at the end— involved down under.
Wait! I think I'm Having Contractions
Firstly take deep breaths which means timing them beforehand looking at watch second's counter why-ever so accurately involves least invasive method quite achievable domestically too.
React accordingly while keeping following major criterias mind:
- Minutes passed well over five minutes &
- Gaining in intensity as they pass.
Oh, and don't forget that other essentials such as:
- Packing bags by including items you might need/depend due to COVID-19 experience change everywhere.
- Your hospital's distance & arrival times (Should I call an ambulance?).
- Being prepared for any emergency delivery just in case.
The Final Push
Some common pointers before taking leave: + Calling your doctor earlier the better since with each passing hour things could become more complicated than initially anticipated.
What matters most is knowing what waits just around corner! Getting informed concerning child-births go a long way understanding how reduction/stages interplay one another leading up selected day itself.
Elevating anticipation surrounding BIG day in preperation proper planning will help providing relaxations upon what comes instead of escalating anxiety levels leaving individuals uneasy sleep deprivated without adequate knowledge beforehand required diving right into realm.
In conclusion, contractions can feel akin to menstruation cramps but exist quite distinguishable thematically speaking so understanding different types along plus monitoring their progression closely will tell you whether or not it's time for some baby-love!
Congratulations on entering parenthood folks because this ride to heavy-metal sensation followed by some hopeful euphoria comprising everyday joy riding afterward ain't for faint-hearted souls!