When I read that the uterus is an organ that can increase its volume more than 24 times, its capacity more than 500 times, and its weight of 70 grams. at approximately 1 kg, I was very surprised. The uterus is an impressive muscle that allows for a new life for nine months and that, like all muscles, has a contraction phase and a relaxation phase.
A woman is experiencing a contraction when the uterus contracts and its clearest sign is a hardening of the gut or abdomen. But how do you distinguish real labor contractions from those that occur during pregnancy?
Contractions in the first months of pregnancy:It is normal that during pregnancy we experience different types of contractions and this should not be a concern for us, simply we must recognize some types of contractions and to know that not all of them are going to trigger a possible premature birth. Until the first 30 weeks and, generally when the baby moves, we can have very localized and low intensity contractions, which will help us to close the cervix and prevent, precisely, spontaneous abortions.
Contractions from the middle of pregnancy: Approximately, starting at five months of gestation, what we know as Braxton Hicks contractions appear, which increase progressively as the pregnancy progresses, and which in the last weeks become more frequent; They encompass the entire uterus and start at the top, work downward, and can sometimes cause discomfort. They differ from true labor contractions in their spread, irregularity (they are usually isolated), and because they are usually painless. These contractions facilitate good blood flow to the placenta, the endometrium and the baby and, during the last weeks of pregnancy, they can modify the cervix to soften and shorten it, in short, preparing our body gradually for delivery.
Labor contractions: To distinguish true labor contractions, aspects such as frequency, interval or regularity, intensity and duration are considered. Normally, labor contractions become more and more frequent, between 3 and 5 contractions in 10 minutes; the interval between contractions is usually of equal duration, becoming more regular; the intensity of the contraction or hardness of the uterus that usually increases; and the duration of the contractions are extending from 30 seconds to about 75 seconds, reaching almost chain with each other and making it difficult to recover between them, hence the importance of breathing.
The contractions will subside when the cervix reaches a dilation of about 10 cm, which is when the expulsion of the baby will begin. According to almost all women in labor, these contractions and the expulsive are very painful, but many times they say that pain is related to psychological aspects of the woman. For those of us who have experienced it, I believe that childbirth, of course, is not a rose garden, although we collect our most beautiful fruit from it.
Patro Gabaldon. Editor of our site
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