Here are a few common questions Melanie gets asked in Labor and Delivery:
What's the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions?
In the days or weeks before labor, Braxton Hicks contractions may intermittently become rhythmic, relatively close together, and even painful, possibly fooling you into thinking you're in labor. But unlike true labor, during this so-called false labor the contractions don't grow consistently longer, stronger, and closer together.
How will I know when to go to the hospital?
If your water hasn't broken and your contractions are regular and getting stronger, you should call your midwife or doctor. He or she will help you determine if it's time to go to the hospital. Only a vaginal exam can indicate whether your cervix effaced had dilated.
What if my water breaks?
Typically, after your water breaks labor soon follows - if it hasn't already started. Call your provider and head straight to the hospital or delivery facility.
If you think you're in labor but are unsure, here are some of the best things you can do:
- Make sure you're hydrated. Water is best.
- Time your contractions. How frequent are they? How long to they last? How strong are they? Can you talk through them?
- Check in on the baby. Is the baby moving at least 10 times in 2 hours.
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