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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 is the 5-1-1 or 3-1-1 guideline for timing contractions all about?

5-1-1 equates to when your contractions are five minutes apart, lasting for one minute and have been that way for one hour. Most OB/GYN will advise you to go to the hospital then. Chance of being in active labor really increases when you follow the 3-1-1 guideline i.e. you stay at home until your contractions are three minutes apart, one minute long for at least one hour. You may want to take this chance if the hospital is not too far away from home and you are planning for a birth without pain medications. It is advisable to stay at home longer if your contractions do not follow this guideline where you are in comfortable and familiar surroundings.

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