Am I in labor? What do I do?
Question:I am 39 weeks pregnant with my first child. I am due in 1 week. I am 2 cm and 50% effaced and am getting many contractions. What do I do? My water hasn't been broken.
Answer:This is good news! Sounds like you're very close to labor, if not in early labor already. At this point, you're just waiting for your contractions to become regular.
It's normal to have many contractions at the end of pregnancy. It's possible they are Braxton Hicks contractions, preparing your body for the big day. Rest assured that if they are not labor contractions now, they will be soon. Your body knows just what to do.
The key thing to pay attention to when you're trying to figure out if you're really in labor or not is the frequency and length of the contractions. Once you feel like you're having contractions pretty consistently, you can start timing them- from the start of one contraction to the start of the next. If they are getting consistently stronger and start coming at regular intervals, that's your sign that it's probably the real deal.
So, what do you do besides time them? Try to stay relaxed and keep about your daily business. Get those things done that you wanted to finish before the baby comes. Take a warm bath, or try a nap.
Don't stress about whether or not you're in labor. If you try to go on with your normal activities, you will be less stressed and labor will happen more quickly. You'll know when you're in labor.
When to go to the hospital?? Once you've been having strong contractions 5 min apart for at least an hour. It's best to try to labor at home as long as you can because it's common for labor to slow down once you get to the hospital. Labor progresses more smoothly and faster the more relaxed and comfortable you are in your environment.
Good luck and come back to share your birth story!
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