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False versus True Labor

I vividly remember how I felt at 39 weeks pregnant with my first daughter. I was analyzing EVER little pain, every twitch, every strange thing that was happening to my enormously pregnant body, just hoping for a sign that labor was near. But at the same time, I wanted to be SURE. I did not want to excitedly rush to the hospital only to be sent home for a false alarm.

Here are a few ways you can tell if you are truly in labor or simply having signs of false labor.

When it doubt, CALL

Before we jump into false labor signs, it’s important that you know that this website is not intended to provide medical advice. If you truly believe you are in labor, put your birth plan into action and get movin’ mama!

Did Your Water REALLY break?

Because believe it or not, many pregnancy woman mistake having an accident as their water breaking. The easiest way to tell? Pee will be in a more continuous stream and will have a small. Amniotic fluid has no smell.

Irregular Contractions

You’ve probably heard of Braxton-Hicks contractions right now. These “practice contractions” are your body gearing up for labor, but there are not real contractions. They are very irregular in frequency and length. True contractions happen at a regular interval and begin getting closer together as you progress. A labor and delivery nurse breaks down how to tell the difference from Braxton-Hick and real deal contractions in this post. 

Contractions Do Not Change With Movement

According to American Pregnancy Association, a sign of false labor is that the contractions diminish as mother begins to move about. Real contractions will continue as you increase movement. So when in doubt, get up and MOVE AROUND, mama!

Locations of Contractions

More so, the position of the contractions can be a tell-tale sign if you are in true labor. False labor contractions are more centered in your lower belly and groin area. True contractions travel downward through your abdomen.

Be sure to also read about the difference between losing your mucus plug and bloody show. 

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