Childbirth is approaching, you can only wait until your water breaks. The contractions begin and the little one finally shows up. You have different kinds of contractions. How do you notice that the real thing has started? How does a real contraction feel?
Contraction: What’s that?Your uterus is a muscle, a contraction is actually a powerful astringe of the uterine muscle. This contraction, causes the space in the uterus to shrink, and the cervix to open more and more. The baby is slowly pushed out, this can be quite painful.
Practice contractionsEarlier in pregnancy, you probably had practice contractions (also called hard bellies or pre-contractions). This can occur, as early as in the sixth week of pregnancy. These practice contractions, can occur extra in the week before the birth, usually at night. Because that's when your uterus is most active. You can recognize them as practice contractions, because they don’t increase in frequency, strength and duration.
Descent contractionsNot every woman suffers from it, but towards the end of the pregnancy, you may experience contractions, as the baby descends into your pelvis. He/she already lies in position, for the delivery, it feels like a period ache, or a stabbing ache in the groin.
Real contractionsChildbirth usually starts with pre-contractions, that turn into dilation contractions. It’s difficult to say, when the first real contraction starts. For some it happens after an hour, for others after a day, very unpredictable. But, how do you recognize that real contraction?
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- Real contractions occur faster and faster. At first, there may still be a lot of time in between (+/- ten min.). But there’s always less time in between, and there is more regularity.
- The contraction time is longer and longer. At first, the contraction lasts a few seconds. Now, the timer is already at +thirty seconds, they keep getting a little longer.
- It seems like every contraction is more painful. Oh no, wait a minute. It doesn't seem like it, it is!
- The contractions often start calmly. They increase, peak, subside and subside.
- Whatever position you’re in, your pain is there. Nothing helps, you can of course, try to absorb the contractions, as comfortably as possible.
- There is a clear beginning and a clear ending. Fortunately, the pain subsides for a while, after the contraction. You only feel it again, when the new contraction begins.
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How do contractions progress during delivery?
The initial contractionsThe first real contractions, are normally short and irregular, they last about half a minute. The ache is generally bearable. Between the contractions, are about five to ten minutes, and during the course of the delivery. The contractions become more frequent, more powerful and longer in duration.
Dilation contractionsWhen the contractions last for sixty to ninety seconds, and they come every four to five minutes. Your dilation contractions have started. It’s now time to call the midwife, she’ll assess, how many centimeters of dilation you have, and help you further. You usually have, about two to three centimeters of dilation at this point. So, please be patient, meanwhile, the contractions will become increasingly severe.
Press contractionsFrom ten centimeters you’ve full dilation, this creates the most pressure. The delivery can begin! By now you have press contractions: These are contractions, where you feel that you have to push. It will not surprise you, that this is the most intense and painful variant. But it’s all worth it, because thanks to these contractions, your baby is born!
After contractionsDon't be alarmed, if you go into a few more contractions, after giving birth. These are the so-called after-effects, which ensure you, that your uterus returns to a normal shape. Nervous about the delivery? That's not necessary, you too will get through it.
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