In the majority of the cases the job of the husbands or of the labor partner is to time the labor contractions. Although this doesn’t seem to be too complicated, it might turn out to be trickier than you expected. This is why it is best to find out more about these contractions.
What do the contractions of labor feel like?
This is the most common question that mothers have to ask, especially if they already experience the Braxton Hicks contractions. The truth is that the real contractions are a little bit different from them from various points of view. It is important to remember that the contractions change over time.
The contractions during labor become stronger, longer and they get closer together. They usually last for hours, but they could also last for days or even longer. Also these contractions may or may not be accompanied by other signs of labor. This means that you could lose your mucus plug, have nesting urges, backache and queasiness.
The labor contractions involve the entire body. They can be felt in the abdomen, back, pelvic floor and hips, unlike the Braxton Hicks contractions that you can feel only in your belly. These contractions alter your mental awareness. This is because the contractions need so much effort.
If you have contraction when being in labor most probably you won’t be able to converse during the contractions and you can’t make eye contact either. It looks like the new mothers are in a whole different world during the contractions.
Timing the labor contractions
When timing these contractions, you have to think about their duration. You should time it from beginning to the end. Usually the early contractions last for 30 seconds. Another aspect that needs to be measured is the interval. This means measuring how far apart are the two contractions.
In order to time the interval of the contractions while being in labor you should start timing at the beginning of the contraction, keep in mind when the contraction ends and then keep timing until the beginning of the second contraction. This means that you have to time the contractions from start to the end.
When to start timing the labor contractions?
It is best to start timing the contractions when the mother becomes aware of these repetitive and rhythmic feelings. This way she will know when the contractions start and end. At the beginning time the contractions occur for an hour. If the contractions are far apart, you may continue with your regular activities. You could also try to get some rest.
When to go to the hospital?
If you don’t have any other reason to go to the hospital besides the contractions felt during labor, you should follow the 411 rule. This means that the contractions should be 4 minutes or less apart, they should last for one minute for at least an hour or more.
As you can see the labor contractions aren’t as complicated as they may seem at first but you have to be careful with them.