How do you use the Contraction Calculator?
- When you start to feel commotion (a tightening sensation, which you may feel either from your stomach or with your hand on your belly) click on “Start Counting”.
- When you feel the relaxation in your uterus click on “Stop counting”.
- To check the interval between the contractions, repeat the process.
To make sure of the contraction pattern at least Six to eight readings are required which includes both duration (length of contractions) and frequency (time difference in between two contractions).
What are Contractions during Labor?
Regular tightening and relaxing of uterine muscles, which are stimulated by the hormone- oxytocin, that is released by pituitary gland are labor contractions. Usually, they may feel as menstrual cramp and may cause a faint ache in lower abdomen and back and a little pressure in the pelvis can also be felt. From top of the uterus to the bottom the contraction is felt in a wave-like motion. The upper part of the uterus (fundus) gets thick because of contractions while the lower portion and cervix is stretched and relaxed. The baby is assisted by these series of contractions to move through the birth canal.
Sometimes it gets tricky to identify an actual labor contraction as women also suffer from Braxton Hicks contractions, which is their body’s way to get them ready for the real thing. Regular contractions but with varied intensity are false labor contractions. Such contractions sometimes lead women to think that they are going in to labor.
However, you can distinguish in a false and actual contraction by keeping in mind that unlike false contractions, actual ones get stronger, longer and also the interval between two contractions minimizes. You can make sure about how far you are into labor by using a calculator instead of a clock or watch.
How can you time your contractions?
In the beginning try noting down the time of a few contractions, when each contraction starts and when it ends. How long a contraction lasts will help you know about the duration of contractions and the time gap will help you know about the intervals between the two contractions. To ensure that you are going through an actual labor notice your contraction’s pattern by and see if they: