It's perfectly normal to feel some pain in the last few weeks of pregnancy, but what exactly are they? Regular contractions or labor starting several weeks early? In many cases, this is what is known as pre-term labor, and here we will help you understand what they feel like and what causes them.
What are exacerbations and why do you get them?
Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most physically challenging times in your life, so it's no wonder your body has a lot to prepare for! When you experience a contraction, it means that the uterus is contracting, and the closer you get to delivery, the more intense the contractions can become. It is a way for the uterus to strengthen and train for the upcoming birth, just like any other muscle for a tough challenge. So, while labor pains are perfectly normal, they can be frustrating if they are painful and last for weeks before delivery. However, it is an important step towards you and your baby meeting for the first time!
How do exacerbations feel?
Perhaps you have experienced contractions earlier in pregnancy? Contractions are quite similar, but often more painful and last for a longer period. A contraction starts from the top of the uterus and spreads downwards. At the same time, you may feel downward pressure, lower back pain and radiating down to your groin.
Remember that labor pains are different from the regular, painful labor pains you experience when you give birth, but if you're not sure what type of pain it is, it's best to contact your healthcare provider. Regardless of the type of pain, you are one step closer to meeting your baby! Labor pains can be irregular and come and go for several days before labor begins in earnest. Labor pains are more regular, frequent and gradually increase in intensity. If you are experiencing these types of contractions, you can be sure that your first meeting will be soon!
How to manage the pain?
The onset of aches and pains is a sign that it's time to take it easy and rest. You can take a warm bath or painkillers to ease the pain. If you're not sure whether you're experiencing contractions or labor pains, contact your midwife or other healthcare provider who can help you!