A Few Things You Should Know about Contractions

Being a mother is quite a phenomenal experience, right? However, for first-time mothers, it can bring about confusion and restlessness. It is imperative to manage your pregnancy effectively for a smooth and healthy labor. Truth be told, many first time mothers ask this typical question: what do contractions feel like? Any experienced mother encountering this question will be incredulous, saying 'Oh, really! What are you talking about? You don't know already?' However, we think that for first-time mothers, this is an obvious and justifiable question.

What Do Contractions Feel Like?

Let's define what a contraction is before we get into an in-depth discussion of this condition. A contraction takes place when the uterus synchronously squeezes and relaxes during the pregnancy. Contraction occurs due to different reasons. For example, contractions that occur during early pregnancy are known as 'warm up' contractions and normally help to strengthen the uterus. Contractions during labor will prepare the mother for a smooth delivery, while contractions after birth will help to prevent excessive bleeding.

In general, contractions prepare your body for the entire labor process. Therefore, taking into consideration the useful and important role contractions play during pregnancy, it is imperative that all first-time mothers ought to be aware of the nature of this phenomenon. In this article, we will try as much as possible to cover everything regarding contractions. In the long-term, an understanding and knowledge of contractions will help you manage your pregnancy effectively.

How To Identify Contractions?

If you are asking yourself what does a contraction feel like, then you might not get the right answer. As a matter of fact, a contraction differs from person to person. While some may feel abdominal cramping or pain in the pelvic region, other women feel intense pressure in the pelvis, back pain, or menstrual cramps. Others will experience a burning sensation in the abdomen, and a few will experience bad period cramps. People understand contractions in different ways but if at any time you are confused about contractions, consult your doctor or someone who is an experienced mother. They might be able to help you in identifying and handling contractions.

Some women even experience different kinds of contractions in different stages of their pregnancy. Therefore, defining contractions in simple terms can be misleading, and certainly, it is not our intention to mislead you. Therefore, if you feel doubtful, seek advice; there is no harm in asking for help.

Braxton Hicks Contraction

If you are asking yourself or others this question: 'What do early contractions feel like?', you are probably seeking for clarification of certain issues. During the second or third trimester of your pregnancy, you might feel a soft and intermittent contraction when you are either dehydrated or tired because you just had sex. In medical terms, this contraction is called a 'Braxton Hicks Contraction,' and you can consider it a warm-up contraction. Generally, it is considered to be the body’s way of preparing itself for labor.

These contractions are not painful and do not get intense over a period of time. Instead, they tend to disappear as time passes. However, you may need to pay attention to them because sometimes they can lead to complications.

If you experience bleeding or viginal discharge, then this is something that you should never ignore. If perhaps it's an acute case, then you need to consult your doctor before your body becomes further aggravated. Generally, these contractions occur quickly and fade away rapidly. Below are the few generic techniques you can apply to manage contractions that make you feel uncomfortable (and in most cases they will!)

Take deep breaths:

  • You can try emptying your bladder to see if it makes you feel at ease.
  • Change your position: this means, if you are lying down, just wake up and take a walk Again, if you feel contractions while standing, you can try to sit down. Generally, these contractions wither away with movement.
  • Hydrate yourself: drink some water together with a healthy juice. If your contractions were triggered by dehydration, they will somehow reduce.
  • Consider taking a warm bath.

As was said earlier, you are likely to feel different types of contractions during your pregnancy; therefore, it is advisable you remain attentive during the entire period of the pregnancy. On the other hand, pregnancy comes with lots of other complications such as back pain, nausea, and much more.

Anytime you have a question, feel free to ask, stay close to your friends and family and ask for their help whenever you need it. On top of that, your diet regime can make a lot of difference and somehow determines how smooth or rough your labor process is going to be. In this regard, it is paramount that you never smoke during your pregnancy as this can hurt your baby or even result in serious brain damage. It is also recommended that you avoid consuming excessive caffeine during the pregnancy and lastly, never consume alcohol. You might think a glass of wine is fine after dinner but we advise you not to take the risk.

Motherhood is a beautiful experience but it has its own share of complexities. Get as much as information about pregnancy as you can and also keep in touch with your doctor. So, do you now have a fair idea of what do contractions feel like? In case you are still not sure, please talk to your doctor. You can also follow our articles and blog posts for more information on pregnancy-related issues.