When to go to the hospital and how to count labor contractions?
Pregnancy and childbirth is the most important stage in the life of any woman. He divides the whole existence into before and after the appearance of the child. For those who go to the hospital for the first time, it is very important to know when to go there and how to count the contractions in order to determine the time to delivery.
What is contractions?
The whole process of labor can be divided into three periods:
- cervical opening - contractions;
- themselves childbirth.
By themselves, contractions are vigorous activity of the uterus. Such muscle contractions help the child to assume the correct position and prepare the neck for full opening. There are "training" contractions and the real ones.
Before answering the question of how to correctly count the contractions, it is worth understanding whether they are real or preparatory.
The normal time for birth is the period from the 38th to the 40th week of pregnancy. By this time, the fetus is fully formed and ready to be born for independent living.
Some women may experience small uterine contractions a few weeks before the onset of labor. These are training contractions (Braxton-Hicks).
It is also the process of preparing for normal labor, and the closer the birth, the more tangible they become. They may appear once or several times a day. For some future mothers, this period may be absent or be completely invisible.
If there is still a lot of time left before the birth, and training contractions began to repeat more often (several times per hour) and spotting appeared - immediately contact your gynecologist. This can be a serious symptom for hospitalization in order to avoid preterm birth.
If you had “false” contractions after the 36th week, then there is nothing to worry about, on the contrary, this indicates a normal course of pregnancy. Your stomach goes down, making it easier to breathe.
When the real contractions begin, you can’t confuse them with "false" ones. They do not stop and do not become less painful. It is at this moment that the question arises of how to count the contractions.
The uterine contractions of the uterus proceed successively: first in the upper part, then the tension spreads to the cervix itself. At the peak of activity, the tone from the female organs does not disappear.
There are several main types of contractions during labor:
- With the opening of the cervix. They continue until the opening becomes 10 cm.
- Attempts. Serve to push the fetus to the exit.
- "Postpartum". Required to exit the placenta.
- After childbirth. May appear some time after the birth of the baby. They also should not be afraid, they help the correct reduction of the uterus.
There are several signs so that you can pinpoint the onset of labor.
Signs of childbirth
Many women are concerned about how to count labor contractions before childbirth. To understand whether you have a generic process, look at the signs by which its beginning is determined:
- The duration of one contraction is more than 30 seconds, and the frequency of repetition increases.
- The period between contractions begins from 20-30 minutes, then comes to 10 or less, which means that the process of opening the cervix has begun.
- Hemorrhages appeared, they indicate the discovery process
- With all of the above symptoms, there is a pulling pain in the back and lower abdomen.
When the future mother has had all these symptoms, we consider contractions (when going to the maternity hospital depends on their frequency).
We consider the intervals between contractions
The main process has begun - labor activity, now the question of how to count contractions is relevant.
From the interval between contractions depends on whether you will be in the hospital. For example, if you went there too early, that is, uterine contraction occurs less frequently than once every 10 minutes, then you will be advised to sit still at home.
If the woman attending the courses, she knows that they are going to the hospital at a time when the gap between contractions has decreased to one minute. Except for those situations where you are put on preservation for medical reasons.
Self counting is a very easy task. To do this, you need a stopwatch (usually this function is in mobile phones). It is desirable that next to the future mother was someone from the family who can write everything on a piece of paper.
For example, the following recording option is possible:
In this case, the gap is two minutes between the start of one and the second contraction.At this point, you should already be in the hospital. The optimal time for departure is a period of 5 minutes, it will be enough to get to the hospital in time and go through the necessary examination before delivery.
In our time, the development of technology, there are various online programs for counting fights. They allow not only to record the intervals between real contractions, but also to calculate the "false" ones. To use them, the computer is optional, it can be installed on your favorite gadget.
Situations when urgently need to go to the hospital
There are situations when "how to count contractions" is an irrelevant question for a woman in labor. These cases include:
- the waters are gone;
- the uterus has shrunk and kept in tone for more than 30 seconds;
- severe pain while contracting, but the nature of contractions is irregular;
- state of health decreased and you began to distinguish things poorly;
- bleeding of any intensity began;
- strong movement of the fetus or, conversely, a sharp cessation of activity.
In any of these situations, you should immediately go to the maternity hospital, and not think about how to count labor contractions during childbirth.
In any case, do not be afraid of labor activity.This pain is a process that helps your baby to be born.