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FAQs on Labor Contractions
  What are labor contractions and why do they happen?
  How to tell from the contractions if I am in true labor?
  How do I time my contractions?
  What is the 5-1-1 or 3-1-1 guideline for timing contractions all about?
  How is early labor contraction different from active labor contraction?
  Are there trigger forces for Braxton Hicks contractions or are they spontaneous. How do I stay comfortable when I am having them?
  What is false labor?
  What are second and third stage contractions?
  What are Braxton Hicks contractions and why do they occur?
  I have heard that labor contractions can really hurt. What do they feel like?
  Being pregnant for the first time can you tell me what the active labor phase is like?

I have heard that labor contractions can really hurt. What do they feel like?

A strong contraction feels like an uncomfortable cramp working around the center of your body. You will feel involuntary tightening which seem to travel from your stomach region to your back and back again to the front. The top of your abdomen will harden as the contractions intensify. The squeezing sensations can be also felt in the groin area and thigh areas. You can somewhat compare the cramping pain you feel to that of a severe leg cramp to get a general idea. Its onset means you are entering the active phase of labor. With contractions being more regular and frequent the pain will deepen. Alongside you will feel pain and discomfort in the lower region as your cervix starts to dilate. Note that pain and discomfort level differs from woman to woman.

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