BH vs. true contractions

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lesleynka's picture
Joined: 04/26/11
Posts: 1845
BH vs. true contractions

So now that we have some recent pros on this board let me ask: how did you tell or what were some signs that your contractions were the real thing? Do you have any tips, hints, precursors, etc for us mommies that are still waiting?

joyjim's picture
Joined: 05/22/06
Posts: 822

I keep deleting my replies...so frustrating! Real contractions hurt waaaaay more than BH. I forgot how friggin bad they hurt especially when you are complete. I do not get the lower back pain, they started at the top of my belly and then crushed down into my bottom. I forgot how bad my butt hurts during labor. I guess what I am saying is, you will know the difference. If you are questioning it they are probably BH.

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

I think you can have 'real' contractions without having actual labor... You will know real labor when they get stronger and stronger and nothing you do makes them stop.

BH's don't cause cervical changes. Somehow I got to5cm and 90 effaced without actual labor. I think mixed in with all my BH's for the last month I had real cervix changing contractions that were not BH's yet still far too disorganized to be labor.

You will know it when it happens!

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

It's confusing for me too. I do know when they are really they are more painful and get closer together. The doula totally confused me the other day by telling be about real vs bh. She made it sound like bh can be just as painful, long and regular as real contrx but they aren't. Then you can have real ones and not make any progress?!?! So confusing. I just remember the real ones not going away after laying down or several hours.

PAmom2boys's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 1494

I hate to tell you and agree with PPs. You'll know. I only had real labor contractions for about an hour before deciding to go in. Lucky for me I didn't wait it out but I knew they were the real thing.

I'm_a_pepper's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 606

Even though I had a scheduled c-section, I had several "real" contractions in the days leading up to it.- most often they happened at night. I knew they were real because they started in my upper uterus (almost in my chest) and slowly made their way down to my lower abdomen and back to my butt. They def. had a beginning and an ending and they were painful (though not "stop and breathe through them" kind of pain yet), whereas the BH I had been having for months were just constant tightening in my belly that would last for an hour or so... no "stop and start", and just uncomfortable, not painful. When I got to the hospital for my c-section, they hooked me up to the monitor and sure enough, I could see the contractions on the monitor when I felt them coming on. I kind of felt vindicated, like - yes, they WERE real! ha ha! (not sure if everyone really believed me that I was having real ones up until that point)...

I'm_a_pepper's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 606

Also wanted to add...I knew even though they were real contractions, that I was not in true labor because they were not coming closer and closer together and getting more intense. Some nights I had quite a few of them and sometimes they were pretty consistently coming xx minutes apart, but they were not getting more painful and closer together. And during the day, they were very random and infrequent. Hope this helps! Sorry this was a novel

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I have never had BH contractions with any of my babies. I just had the real ones here and there during the last few weeks, which is what got me to 6cm dilated before even being in labor lol! They hurt like a mother... that's how you can tell the difference lol!

_Jessicah_'s picture
Joined: 04/21/11
Posts: 1973

This is what scares me. When my mom had me she never felt the contractions. She just felt the pressure in her bottom like she needed to have a bowel movement. So here she is going to the bathroom and nothing is coming out. Her grandmother who she was staying with because my Dad was working and her parents were at a UK ballgame at the time suggested that maybe she needed to get checked out. On the way to the hospital the urge to push just kept getting stronger. She said she never got the intense pains that most people describe when you talk about labor. She got to the hospital and was fully dilated and I was crowning. They zipped her up to a room and I was born like 10 minutes later. I am so afraid that this will happen to me. Given my Mom's experience I think it's possible to not feel excruciating pain with contractions.

.hilary.'s picture
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505

Real ones for me were painful, but also forced downward more. BH just tightened, they didn't force in any direction. Also, BH took my breath away, like my lngs were being squeezed. Real ones I felt an urge to breathe through!