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First stage of labour
 
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A false labour?

In a first pregnancy it's not always easy to tell false from real labour. As a general rule, if you're in doubt, you're not in real labour.

Regularity

False labour?
© Jupiter

False contractions never really settle down and become truly regular.

Frequency

False contractions are sporadic. They may vary from 10 minutes to 20 minutes to 15 minutes, with no steady pattern.

Effect of movement

False contractions usually weaken or stop altogether if you get up and move around, whereas real contractions increase.

Strength

False contractions do not get progressively stronger. They may even weaken from time to time and disappear altogether.

Some women, especially if they are working and get overtired or overexcited, slip in and out of false labour for a few days before real labour begins.

Tell your doctor or midwife about the contractions if you're concerned. If you can't contact them, check with your hospital and go to hospital if you want to. If you stay at home keep on the move and stay upright to help labour.

Posted 16.11.2010

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