As an expecting mother, timing active labor contractions is an essential task. It helps you in keeping track of the progress of your labor and determining when to head to the hospital. Therefore, it is critical to recognize when active labor contractions begin and to time them appropriately. In this article, we will discuss how to time active labor contractions effectively.

1. Know the difference between Braxton Hicks and active labor contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are known as Ā«false laborĀ» since they don`t lead to labor`s progress. They tend to be irregular, less intense, and do not become more frequent over time. On the other hand, active labor contractions are more intense, regular, and last for a longer span of time. It is essential to differentiate between the two to avoid heading to the hospital unnecessarily.

2. Use a timer or an app

Timing your contractions in your head can be challenging, as labor symptoms can be overwhelming. Therefore, we recommend using a timer or an app to help document the exact time that your contractions start and end. There are various apps available on both iOS and Android that can help you time your contractions effectively.

3. Start timing when your contractions are consistently intense

Active labor typically begins when your contractions are consistent, strong, and occur at regular intervals. Once you start noticing that your contractions become intense and more frequent, that`s when you should start timing them.

4. Time the duration of your contractions

The duration of your contractions is another crucial factor to consider when timing active labor contractions. Typically, active labor contractions last for about 45-60 seconds, from the start of the contraction to the end of it. However, they can last longer or shorter depending on your body.

5. Keep a record

It is crucial to keep a record of your contractions` frequency, duration, and intensity. This helps you in determining when it`s time to go to the hospital and provides information to your healthcare provider about the progress of your labor. Keeping a record also helps you in recognizing emerging patterns and making decisions accordingly.

In conclusion, timing active labor contractions is a crucial task for expecting mothers. Knowing the difference between Braxton Hicks and active labor contractions, using a timer or an app, timing the duration of your contractions, and keeping a record are all important steps to consider. Remember to contact your healthcare provider for assistance and guidance during this exciting and challenging time in your life.