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The Fibromyalgic Pregnancy and Beyond - Is This Really Labour?

Is This Really Labour?

Plan to monitor your early labour contractions in the comfort of your own home. You are likely to cope with your contractions better in the comfort of your own home.  You should prepare to call your midwife for advice when your membranes rupture or when your contractions are from five to seven minutes apart. It is advisable to call earlier if are quite a distance from where you intend to give birth.

 Very early labour is sometimes called false labour as it can take a few days to become established into regular contractions.  It is important to know the difference between established and very early labour. Very early labour involves cramps or contractions of the lower abdomen, similar to established labour, but there is a vital difference. Very early labour does not cause a change in the cervix, it doesn’t come in regular intervals, and it may disappear altogether if you change positions or walk around.

 Some labour contractions cause back pain and some cause lower abdominal pain, or both. Expect to cope quite well with these early contractions as you are used to coping with some amount of pain as part of your day to day living with FM. In fact you may not recognise labour pains for what they are to begin with, especially if you feel them in your back but are used to FM associated back pain.  Try to move around, have a warm bath, gentle massage may be a comfort to some women as well as placing a full, covered hot water bottle against the spot where the contractions hurt the worst. When you think you are in labour, sit down and time your contractions from the start of one contraction to another for several contractions. If you find they are evenly spaced, and are coming closer and closer together, and do not go away if you change position or walk around, then you are probably going into established (real) labour. 

Very Early Labour (sometimes called ‘false’ labour)

  •  No “bloody show.”
  •  Contractions irregular and not progressively closer together.
  •  Walking, changing activity or positions may relieve or stop the contractions.
  •  No change in cervix.
  • No dilation

Established (‘real’) Labour

  •  A “bloody show” may be the first sign. It is usually associated with cramp-like pains.
  •  Contractions get stronger, occur more frequently and last longer.
  •  Walking, changing activity or position doesn’t affect intensity or frequency of contractions.
  •  Cervix dilates.
  • Frequency - Time from the start of one contraction to the beginning of another.
  • Duration - Time from the start of one contraction to the end of the same contraction. 

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