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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Real Labor Pain And Pre-labor Pain?

10 October 2009 11 Responses

A Parent asks, My girlfriend is 8 months pregnant and is experiencing the pre-labor pains referred to as Braxton Hicks. How do you distinguish the real pains from the “fake” ones to know when to go into the ER for delivery?

11 Responses »

  • Beth said:


    if you move around or change positions bh will go away but real contractions wont. and usually once they become ‘real’ they will last alot longer.

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  • Matt said:


    to be honest everyone says they feel different but mine were pretty much the same amount of pain just more consistant and did not go away… every woman is different!

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  • blondie said:


    Labor contractions are more intense because theres almost no time between them, and theyre even more painful then the braxton hicks.
    She’ll know the difference, trust me.

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  • amosunkn said:


    What’s the Difference between Braxton Hicks Contractions and Labor?
    You may be worrying that you won’t know the difference between a Braxton Hicks contraction and the real thing; well, you are not alone. Many women worry about recognizing the real signs of labor. Keep these things in mind when you are unsure:
    Unlike real labor pains, Braxton Hicks won’t increase in intensity.
    Labor pains will increase in frequency, occurring closer together. Braxton Hicks contractions will eventually go away on their own.
    Braxton Hicks contractions tend to be irregular, with no precise pattern to them. Real labor pains will have a definite pattern.
    Braxton Hicks contractions are not as painful as real labor pains.
    Staying Comfortable with Braxton Hicks
    Some women find that Braxton Hicks contractions are really uncomfortable. If your Braxton Hicks are bothering you, try some of these suggestions:
    Drink lots of water. Dehydration can make your muscles spasm, bringing on a contraction. Avoid caffeine.
    Practice your labor breathing techniques. Rhythmic breathing will help to alleviate your discomfort.
    Lie down on your left side when you have a contraction. This should help to ease the pain and keep you rested.
    Change the position you are in or switch activities for a while when you have a contraction. A slight change in movement sometimes make the contractions disappear.
    Urinate when you need to. A full bladder can sometimes trigger Braxton Hicks.

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  • mummy of 2 beautiful baby boys. said:


    you cant tell the difference, if they don’t stop or she has the feeling to p ush or anything else i would go to the hospital,if your that worried i would take her in to get checked anyways

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  • pinky058 said:


    ohhhh well dats a big promblem because you really cant tell, except for the fact that the braxton hicks go away after a while and the real ones only get stronger…i had that same promblem during my pregnacy just time them……………

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  • Just My Opinion :) said:


    Braxton Hicks contractions are very mild in comparison. When I went into labor, I started having what at first felt like Braxton Hicks, but were a couple of hours apart. When the contractions are around 5 min apart, it’s time to go. She will know when it’s time. For me, the beginning of active labor just felt like really bad gas pains, but I couldn’t go to the bathroom. As the night wore on, the pain grew more and more intense. If she gets so uncomfortable that she can’t stand the pain, it’s time to go. I hope this helped! Good luck to you both!

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  • KieBaby said:


    braxton Hicks contractions are randon, and very irregular. True contractions come every 15 minutes and get more painful… unless your contractions arn’t regular it’s false. My sister, got a note boook, and wrote down every contration she had next to the exact time, as soon as they bacame a regular 15 minutes apart she went to the doc, and 3 hours later had a little boy! tell your girl friend to start doing the same thing, since she’s so close to labor.

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  • Aspiring Miss. said:


    Braxton hicks can be very painful. They are both real contractions, one changes the cervix and other other one dosen’t. The main difference is that real contractions come at regular intervals, 10 min apart or less, and will get shorter and shorter in between. They will last 30-45 sec and sometimes longer, they won’t change with position, drinking, lying down, and will continue to get stronger and stronger no matter what you do. If she has any doubts she should go in, but these are the general guidelines as to when labor has started. Good luck and congrats on the baby!!!

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  • Juju said:


    I was always concerned I wouldn’t know the difference either. But trust me you will know. If the pain doesn’t go away when she walks. Or if its regular every 5-10 minutes apart then its the real thing. My Dr. told me to go to the hospital when the contractions were 5-7 minutes apart.

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  • Brooke S said:


    Trust me she will know! The real one’s are really painful when they get going! They stop you in your tracks and she will be taking deep breaths!

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