|Centennial Medical Plaza||16 Mins|
|The Medical Center of Aurora||17 Mins|
|North Suburban Medical Center||11 Mins|
|Northeast ER||2 Mins|
|Presbyterian/St. Lukes Medical Center||10 Mins|
|Rose Medical Center||6 Mins|
|Sky Ridge Medical Center||20 Mins|
|Swedish Medical Center||7 Mins|
|Swedish Southwest ER||2 Mins|
Is It Really Labor?
You have heard the story before. A woman is nearing her due date and starts feeling contractions, so she rushes to the hospital. After being examined and waiting in the hospital to see if the contractions progress, she is told to go home because she was not in true labor.
If you are pregnant, it is important to be aware of the signs of labor. Doing this can help you distinguish between Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor) and true labor.
Many women experience Braxton Hicks contractions as their due date approaches. These are uterine muscle contractions that occur during pregnancy that are not signs of labor. These contractions can become more frequent and intense later on in pregnancy and are often the cause of women visiting the hospital before labor starts.
Unlike labor contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions are usually irregular, unpredictable, and felt only in the abdomen, rather than all over. They do not become more frequent and intense over time, and they are not accompanied with other signs of labor, such as light vaginal bleeding and water breaking. Many times, changes in position or increased activity cause Braxton Hicks contractions to slow down or stop.
If you are unsure of what type of contractions you are having, call your doctor.
Last reviewedJanuary 2013by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.