Counting contractions will help you understand when to go to the hospital. True contractions indicate the onset of labor. They increase in frequency until they are 5 minutes apart or reach 12 contractions per hour.
When will I start to feel contractions?
You may start feeling some sort of tightening in your uterus at the beginning of the third trimester. Such contractions are also known as the Braxton-Hicks and are not an indication for labor, but rather a preparation for it.
For most expecting mothers, true labor contractions start sometime during weeks 38-41. They last about 30 to 70 seconds and occur 5 to 10 minutes apart.
If real contractions happen before 37 weeks, it may be a sign of premature labor; so, you should go to the hospital immediately.
What do true labor contractions feel like?
A contraction comes with a wave-like pain, starting from the top of the uterus and radiating down to the bottom. Each wave is evenly spaced, has a regular pattern, and feels like a strong menstrual cramp that becomes intense and painful over time. Contractions are often so painful that you can’t walk or talk while having them.
Benefits of contraction counting
Paying attention to the frequency of your contractions will help you predict how long you have until labor and give you an idea of when you should head to the hospital to welcome Your Child.
When to go to the hospital?
When counting contractions, you will want to note two things: the length and frequency of contractions. Most expecting mothers will head to the hospital when they feel contractions 5 minutes apart for up to an hour.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (17 May 2021)