- by Dr Sahana K P
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- Feb 09 2017
You may have heard a lot about the pain and contractions that occur during labour which may raise many concerns and unanswered questions. Read on to get some clarity which can help you prepare better for your day.
What are contractions?
This process is the effect of a series of chemical reactions in the body lead by Oxytocin and Prostaglandin, two chemicals that begin the process of contraction with its release. Contractions are a series of labour pains that occur at regular intervals due to the contraction of uterus muscles.
Contractions are basically of 3 types:
- Practice contractions are the ones that can occur not just at full term but at anytime during pregnancy and is not necessarily an occurrence in every pregnancy.
- These contractions prepare your cervix or delivery, are irregular and stop when you alter your body position. These contractions vary with each pregnancy and can occur well before or just prior to actual contractions.
- Actual contractions are the real sigs of delivery. They are persistent and their frequency and intensity increase with time and they do not stop even when you make changes with your body position.
Signs of contractions
- Lower back, lower abdomen and upper thigh pain accompanied by cramps and sometimes diarrhoea or a stomach upset.
- Strong contractions every 5-10 minutes
- Water breaks: membrane ruptures and is followed by discharge of a reddish liquid.
Head to the hospital immediately especially if it is around your date so that the doctors can help you get through a safe delivery. Practice deep breathing exercises to help relax and endure the pain.
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