How to recognize contractions in pregnancy

Let’s see the different types of contractions and how to recognize them.

Contractions are a physiological phenomen in pregnancy, not only near the due date, but also during the 9 months.

A contraction is a sudden shortening of the muscle fiber. Uterine ones are involuntary, as for the heart. Both heart and uterus are made of smooth muscles.

It is very important to recognize this phenomenon in pregnancy, because you should not mistake them for other abdominal pains. Let’s see together how to do it!

How to recognize contractions

Contractions are belly spasms which lasts a few seconds. So, we are not talking about a constant pain. During this phenomenon, the belly hardens, it stays stretched for a few seconds and then relaxes again.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/incinta-madre-corpo-gestante-1245703/

It feels almost like menstrual cramps, but more intense. The pain starts from the pubis and spread towards the abdomen. Contractions can manifest at any time during pregnancy and can also cause light bleedings. In this cases, it is better to rest and see your doctor.

However, during labor this phenomenon is different, because it is more painful and regular and lasts more than 30 seconds.

Types of pregnancy contractions

There are different types of this phenomenon and it is important to distinguish them. Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as practice ones, are due to progesterone, which regulates them.

They are not very common, but they can happen when the labor is coming and the baby is moving to assume the right position. They should never be more than 5 in 1 hour: if they become regular, you need to see your gynecologist.

During labor, kidney contractions are very common. In this case, the pain starts from the lower abdomen and spread towards the back and the kidneys. They are very painful and can happen from the fourth month on. If they become regular, especially when the due date is close, it is better to see your doctor.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/incinta-madre-corpo-gestante-1245703/

ultimo aggiornamento: 01-03-2019

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