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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?

What are labor contractions and why do they happen?

Labor contractions serve as an indicator that you are in labor, and in some pregnancies they can be the only sign of labor. In early labor the contractions come simultaneously in 3 ways - period-like pains, pain at the lower back combined with some aching pressure behind the pubic bone. The uterus comprises of layers of muscles and at the lower end of it lies the cervix or the opening through which your baby makes its way out. During a labor contraction the uterus tightens or contracts in the bid to help your baby out of the canal. Labor contractions start out slow and are far apart (at around 30 minute intervals) and during the active phase contractions will become closely spaced and faster, and with this repetitive squeezing the cervix shortens and widens. Next is the very intense transition stage where the contractions peak followed by the 2nd stage during which your baby is born. Contractions are useful (though painful) in helping your body deliver your baby.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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