PD_Fitness_Wellbeing_67135 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.