False Labor, the pain in my backside, literally. With everything from cramps, aches and pains to emotional highs and lows it is the worst. It is a sick joke your body plays on you to make you think you are in labor just be told later “Nope, sorry. Your having contractions but they are fake.” Well they certainly don’t feel fake and when it happens in late pregnancy it is a real let down when you have already been waiting so long for the bundle of joy to appear. This is my third pregnancy and let me tell you, it does not get any easier. Every pregnancy really is different. My first was born two weeks late, my second 3 days early and this one who knows. I have been experiencing false labor for about two weeks now and it is frustrating. There are 4 things, I have learned though through these pregnancies that I think may help you avoid going to the hospital and being frustrated while in False labor.
- False labor (Braxton Hicks) is the irregular and non-progressive contractions of the uterus. They are contractions, but they don’t offer progression or dilate your cervix. It is your body’s way of getting ready for the real thing, practice makes perfect.
- According to Whattoexpect.com, the contractions are usually felt in the lower abdomen instead of the lower back. I am going to tell you from experience though, that sometimes they can be felt all over but come at irregular intervals, never get any stronger and will usually go away with a change in position or activity. They can also be brought on by dehydration so make sure you get enough water in hopes of avoiding the irritation and stress.
- There is no bloody show. This one is a little gross to discuss but it’s as much a part of pregnancy as anything else. If you are having contractions but no bloody show it is most likely False labor. There can be an increase in discharge (ranging from clear, yellow or even brownish) but that does not necessarily mean that it is your mucus plug. That being said though, this symptom is often times confusing. The mucus plug can be dislodged during sex, a pelvic exam, all at once or over a period of time. It can also grow back. ( I did NOT know this until recently.) Since the Plug is less a plug and more of a buildup of discharge in the back of your Vagina, it can regrow in essence if the “plug” is lost too early. I think of it as a safety net to keep infection and bacteria out of the uterus for the safety of the baby. The loss of the mucus plug does not indicate the onset of labor, it can vary from several hours to several weeks. Always notify your doctor if you think you have lost it or if you have any questions. Visit mucusplug.net for more interesting facts about the mucus plug or ask a doctor.
- Your water has not broken. For me this sign is always a null point. My water has NEVER broke even when I was in labor. It had to be broken by the doctor. But I wanted to include it because a lot of women have their water break and are not sure what to do. If you think your water has broken while you were asleep, smell it. If there is an accompanying ammonia smell and the leaking has stopped it is most likely urine and not your waters. It happens. The baby is big and squished in a tight space and if you do manage to get some sleep, it can be hard to get up. The baby can also be putting pressure on the bladder and when they kick it can cause a leak. I know for me, that I can barely roll out of bed to use the potty the 5-10 times at night without a shove from the Hubs. Your water can break in a slow leak or in one swift gush so always try to be aware of your situation. If you think your water has broken, go to the doctor or birthing center and get an exam. If it turns out that you are mistaken, no need to be embarrassed because mommy’s all over have done it, and not just first time moms. I have been to the hospital in false labor twice before in my other pregnancies and was always more reassured than embarrassed about the mistake. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/water-breaking/art-20044142 has a great article on everything about the water breaking.
The information above has been collected through my own experience, research from various websites and answered questions from my doctors. I am in no way a medical or pregnancy expert. If you ever have questions about your own pregnancy and symptoms be sure to talk to a medical professional. I do however hope this article helps in your search to relieve anxiety and answer some questions. For me it helps to forget about what I am going through by finding other moms who have gone through or are going through the same things as myself. It is far to easy to sink into a hole of self-pity when I am isolated or feel alone. In the end, just remember False labor is annoying but it is our bodies way of getting ready for the real deal and the end result is holding the miracle in your arms and looking into the eyes of a being so similar to your own and realizing you would do it all over again. Whether you are in the middle of your pregnancy or in the home stretch, baby will come when it is ready. Try to relax or find activities that take your mind off being uncomfortable and try to focus on becoming the best mommy you can be.
If you have any questions about my experiences or want to tell me about yours, I would love to hear about it in the comments, on Facebook @findingmommeblog, on Instagram @Findingmommeblog or through my email at email@example.com
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Have a great day!