Contractions: this is how they work

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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Contractions

Le contractionthe irregular ones called "Braxton Hicks”Are often confused with contractions of labor real. In reality the former are preparatory and some women don't even perceive them. In most cases they begin to show up during the third trimester of pregnancy, are mildly painful, but mostly irregular.



On the other hand, when the contractions become regular, the uterus begins to contract rhythmically; the contraction begins weak, reaches its peak of intensity - and that is the most painful moment - and then decreases until it stops completely. It is like the wave of the sea, it is perceived as a full of energy that gradually decreases in vigor.

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Often the preparatory contractions last for days, sometimes they don't even show up for a whole day.



However, the time of birth is approaching and all that remains is to try to rest as much as possible to fill up on the 'strength' necessary to face the clu moments that will lead to birth.

To make sure it's time to go to the hospital, you need to check the rhythm and frequency of your contractions. As mentioned, "real" contractions occur on a regular basis and have an intensity that lengthens over time. If they have a duration of at least forty seconds every five minutes and they are more intense and painful than they had before, the time has come. You can take your suitcase and go to the hospital.

Contractions that occur every five to ten minutes and last twenty to forty seconds usually cause the uterus to dilate by about three centimeters.

When the contractions approach in time, appearing every two to three minutes, lasting up to sixty seconds, the uterus approaches maximum dilation, also reaching the eight centimeters. When the uterus is completely dilated and is around ten centimeters, the contractions last up to a minute and a half and occur every thirty to sixty seconds.

Contractions are felt like severe pain in the lower abdomen, some compares them to menstrual pains but very amplified; sometimes, some women also experience severe pain in the spine and kidney area

When the uterus has reached its maximum dilation, the woman's body puts in place involuntary mechanisms of intestinal and / or gastric emptying so it is likely that in those moments you pee or poop perhaps without realizing it. It absolutely is natural that this happens and the staff in the delivery rooms know very well.



Read also: Contractions: how they arise and how to recognize them

The child needs as much space as possible and the woman's body must be absolutely focused on finding all the essential energy for the expulsive phase. For this reason it is important to advise the pregnant woman to take small snacks to provide the physical strength necessary for the birth but without weighing down the stomach (some sweets, small pieces of chocolate, a sachet of sugar, a teaspoon of jam or honey).

The pain of contractions is absolutely subjective. There is no woman who describes contractions as another woman. Some call them severe menstrual pain, others severe, sharp pain, or pain that is bearable or unbearable. On one thing, however, many agree: when feelings of discouragement and fear arise and it seems that one cannot go further in facing the pain or the final pushes, one must think that the child is about to be born, and soon after all these negative feelings are supplanted. gives an incredulous and special joy that makes that extraordinary and indescribable moment unique.

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