Uterine contractions during pregnancy are a normal physiological phenomenon. There are two types of contractions, true labor contractions and false labor contractions. Every pregnant woman has to pass through this phase. Contractions of uterus may vary from one woman to another. Some woman may feel it annoying while for some woman it may be not a significant event.
Women may feel pregnancy contractions as early as from the sixth month. These contractions are not true labor contractions, indeed they are termed as ‘false labor contractions’. It’s the way the body prepares uterus for the most expected event, the birth of the baby.
Signs Of Contractions At 6 Months Pregnant
Contractions during 6th month of pregnancy are false uterine contractions. False uterine contractions are also called Braxton Hicks contractions. Though they may start during second trimester, contractions become more common and regular during the last three months of pregnancy. Women may feel these contractions as bout of tightening and relaxation of abdomen. Many women compare these contractions with mild menstrual cramps.
The characteristic feature of these contractions is that;
- They are not painful. There is no specific regular interval between two contractions.
- These false labor contractions stop when you move about or even change your position in the bed.
- The time interval between two contractions does not become close.
- They are weak contractions.
- These contractions are felt in the frontal abdominal area and the pelvic area.
If a woman is experiencing such type of contractions, she should not worry. However if she feels too uncomfortable, than she follow this steps;
- Walk around or change the position. Walking or changing the position in most cases stops the false contractions.
- Rest and sleep are essential when you experience such type of contractions.
- Drink enough fluids. Water, fruit juices, coconut water are effective in reducing such events.
- Eat something when you experience false labor contractions.
Symptoms Of Uterine Contractions During Labor
Uterine contractions at the time of labor are far different from those that occur during second trimester or in the third trimester which are painful contractions. The contractions may vary in each woman in its intensity and interval, duration and force as labor progresses. For a woman who had delivered in the past, the experience may or may not be the same as that of the last labor. The characteristic features of true labor contractions are:
- They are painful.
- Pain begins in the lower abdomen and it also radiates in the lower back.
- With each contraction she experiences pressure in her pelvic area. The bag of membranes is forced into the cervical canal as bag of waters.
- The pain may extend to thighs.
- Some women may experience it like diarrhea cramps.
- The contractions occur at regular interval.
- As time passes the time interval between two contractions become less.
- Movement such as walking, changing position does not stop them.
- It is interesting to note that during the third stage of labor, the uterine contractions are almost painless but the magnitude of contractions remain the same as they were in second stage of labor.
If there are signs of true labor you should contact your gynecologist. This signs may include pain in the lower abdomen, pain in the lower back, leaking of fluid or vaginal bleeding, severe and strong contractions with decrease of time interval.