looking for advice about when labour starts

Hi ladies

can you tell straight away when it's the real thing?

I was induced the first time round, straight on the drip as I was already 2cm dilated when I was taken for my induction. I have never had the "build up" of contractions or the first niggly aches.

I have been having intense BH since 31 weeks, sometimes even now ( like this morning) I'll get period pains then intense BH which don't go anywhere.

I've got group B strep so have to have the antibiotics before he is born and I am just so nervous that I'll not recognise when real labour starts and I end up having him at home or something.

Any advice from ladies who have started naturally would be great

Melissa 39+5


  • I know you will be sick to death of hearing this but you will just know. Like you I had intense Braxton Hicks before going into labour and I was always thinking "Is this it?" Heaps of times my husband and I would even be timing them, thinking it might be the start of something but it wouldn't go anywhere. BUT when it did start for real I knew all about it!! It was way more intense and painful. I didn't have a show and my waters didn't break till hospital so the only thing I had to go on was the contractions and there was no mistaking it. They are painful, get more intense and don't go away or back off no matter what you do.

    Sorry that isn't much help but really the only difference between BH and real labour is that real labour progresses and doesn't stop - so you will probably have a few false alarms like us!

    Good luck with everything
    C image
  • Im not sure what advice i can offer. I was only 36wks when i went into labour but my waters went so i obv knew something was happening. I always worried about this when i was preg tho and whether id know. I must say when my pains started i wasnt so sure they were contractions cos they werent that painful and i would even call them contractions but as they got more painful i just knew they were and then as they got into a regular pattern and continued for hrs i defo knew! oh and when i couldnt talk through them i guessed i should call the hosp!! You will defo know hun so dont worry. They say the main giveaway is the regularity but also for you it will be the continuation as obv the BH dont last and go off after a while.

    Good luck!
  • I woke up in labour and my waters never went EVER, But I just knew mainly because the pains built up and reached a peak and were regular every 10 mins, then 5 then 3!! in an hour and a half, I just felt really exhausted the day before and crashed on the bed fully clothed after cleaning the house from top to bottom.

    You'll know hun, trust your instincts and you'll be fine.

  • I always had braxton hicks as well. But one morning my waters started leaking so I went to into hospital but was sent home the next day. The following evening (36hrs after waters breaking) I started getting braxton hicks again, well that's what I thought at first. But then I realised they were coming quite a lot so started timing them and they were 8-10mins apart. Later on I had a bath and this made them worse, tried to get to sleep but they were getting stronger so knew these were real. Got to hospital and I was almost fully dilated, although LO didn't come till the following afternoon!

    Like MummyR2B has said, trust your instincts. When you have regular 'braxton hicks' start timing time and you'll realise if they're real contractions. x
  • no real advise but just want to echo what the other ladies have said and that you will know when you are in labour. i had intense braxton hicks throughout the majority of my third trimester and so many times i thought i was in labour but when the real ones came there was no mistaking it! xx
  • i had quite painful braxton hicks too from very early on.
    first sign i had of labour was my waters went, i didnt feel my proper contractions til about 6 hours later, even though they were showing up on the monitor, some just felt like period cramps which i often got through pregnancy also.
    As other have said trust your body to let you know whats going on!

  • I didnt have BH - so not sure what they felt like. I started to have a period type pain across my back...I wasnt sure at first bcos they were not painful at all but then bcos they developed a pattern i guessed this was it!! xx
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