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Braxton Hicks or True Labor Contractions?


I Sometimes Have Pain on the Side of My Stomach. Is This True Labor?

Probably not. Sharp, shooting pains on either side of your abdomen (called round ligament pain) that travel into the groin may come from stretching ligaments that support your growing uterus.

To ease the discomfort in your sides:

  • Try changing your position or activity.
  • Make sure you are drinking enough fluids (at least six to eight glasses of water per day).
  • Try to rest.

I Hate to Bother My Health Care Provider With "False Alarms." When Should I Call?

Your health care provider is available any time to answer questions and to ease concerns about whether or not your contractions are signs of true labor. Don't be afraid to call if you are not sure what it is you are feeling. He or she may ask you some questions to help find out if you are truly in labor. If there's any question at all, it's better to be evaluated by your health care provider.

It is essential to call your health care provider at any time if you have:

  • Any vaginal bleeding
  • Continuous leaking of fluid, or if your water breaks (can be felt as a gushing or trickling of fluid)
  • Strong contractions every five minutes for an hour
  • Contractions that you are unable to "walk through"
  • A noticeable change in your baby's movement or if you feel less than 10 movements every two hours
  • Any symptoms of contractions if you are not yet 37 weeks




WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD, FACOG on December 06, 2012
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