Contractions: Everything You Need to Know and When to Go to the Hospital


If there is one thing that any woman fears, it is contractions! They are always worried about the pain, especially when it comes to their first pregnancy. Between the speeches of those who didn’t suffer too much and those who couldn’t stand it anymore, it was difficult to know on which foot to dance. This was a reason enough to write an article on the subject so those suggestions can become like our best friends. 

What is a contraction?

Well then, you have to start at the beginning if you want to understand your contractions. It is important to know that our muscles contract on a daily basis, except that we do not necessarily feel it.

All this is amplified during pregnancy since once the fetus has grown, the slightest movement or kick will cause a contraction! If you are in the early stages of your pregnancy, be reassured that you have about four months before you really feel them. 

How to recognize a contraction?  

You’re paranoid and you wonder about every feeling you don’t know. You have a contraction when your stomach hardens for a few seconds and then relaxes. But if that feeling is there, there must be a reason, ladies! 

Contractions: what are their uses? 

Be aware that a contraction can be synonymous with good functioning since it will allow your uterus to stretch gradually (to let the baby pass), but also to renew the blood in your uterine veins. We can skip a few seconds of inconvenience, don’t you think? In short, it is your body that prepares for childbirth. 

What to do when the contractions are painful? 

If you are far from the term and have repeated painful or uncomfortable contractions, you should only go to your obstetrician to see if there are any problems. Be aware that these can lead to an opening of the cervix and cause miscarriage or premature delivery. They must, therefore, be taken seriously. 

What can the obstetricianadvise us to do to ease the pain? 

Generally, you will be prescribed a lot of lying down rest, which will allow your uterus to relax and no longer be under pressure with the baby’s weight. If an infection has been detected, it will be treated by the doctor so that you can continue your pregnancy with peace of mind. Anti-spasmodic drugs can be prescribed or other medications, but always with the advice of the doctor so as not to put your health or that of your child in danger! 

How to recognize the different stages of contractions?

Be careful, an important point if you don’t want to drive your companion crazy by going back and forth to the hospital for nothing! If you have followed the previous points correctly, you should already have the answer. To summarize in four points: 

  • painless contractions= normal = I stay home without worrying 
  • frequent and long contractions, the pain comes gradually = start preparing because you will soon go to the maternity ward 
  • contractions that are getting closer and closer = it’s time to go to the maternity ward to welcome your baby (it’s also time to prepare yourself to push) 

The only time you need to be careful is when you have painful contractions with other symptoms: water loss, bleeding… You will need to be careful and go to the hospital to check that the work is going well, that the baby is healthy, and that there is no infection. 

How will the birth take place?

It’s all very well to know the contractions on your fingertips, but once you’re ready to have your feet on the stirrups in the maternity ward, it would still be nice to know what to expect, don’t you agree? Then there are two phases during childbirth: the first is when the contractions are in the middle of dilation to let your (big) baby pass, then each contraction will cause the baby to descend (little by little so much you prepare mentally because it can be long).

At some point, the baby will be at the rectum level and you will feel the urge to push, yet you won’t have to push (it would be too simple otherwise), the medical team will guide you until you can no longer hold on and you will be told to push at the same time as the last contraction, and, finally, you will see the end of the tunnel. 

Come on, be brave, a few hours of work for years of happiness are still worth it, isn’t it? And if you have contractions after childbirth, don’t panic, it’s just your uterus that’s coming back into place. 

You too have a memory of a “false alarm” where you thought the work had started, but in reality, it wasn’t?

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