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How do you know when real labour starts?

Hi.. I know ive asked many questions about this topic.. but what I dont understand is ... Do the labour pains start with a sharp pain?.. or is it more gradual....
Im getting so nervous and every twinge I have makes me wonder whats happening..

So is it like a sharp pain that starts all of a sudden (in the night say for instance!).. or a more gradual pain feeling?

Sorry if this seems like a silly question. image


  • hiya... it is different for everyone, but for me it was a gradual thing. it's not like a sharp pain like when you cut yourself or break a bone, but more like very very very bad period pain. It slowly comes over you like a wave, with your belly contracting tight.

    I know is seems daft but you will notice the difference. are you getting any practice contractions? how far are you? xx
  • wenders is right if you asked every woman who has had a baby you would hear so many different stories, i thought i had wind when i went into labour just felt really uncomfortable, i used to get really bad trapped wind during pregnancy, and thats what it felt like so went and sat in the bath, the pains went in the water and as soon as got out it hurt like hell again, was only comfortable when i was sitting down. had diarrhoea then a show, by that time thought id better go to hospital and just see, i went up and was 7cm so just as well i never left it much longer or would have had a home birth lol. sounds stupid but i honestly didnt realise i was in labour but when it kicks in you know. i know its hard to do but relax its going to happen and your better not being stressed. good luck and take care xxx
  • Hi both!..thanks for this!..
    Ive got just over 4 weeks to go but ive had diarrhoea and period pains for the last 2 weeks (on and off with period pains)....
    Ive also been so hormonal and teary.. but nothing's happened. Its obviously a bit early yet anyway but im just trying to be prepared...

    Cant wait and getting impatient.
    Thank you both so much for your help!.. Really appreciate it.

    Ive had braxton hicks.. and just the 'once' I had a seriously bad pain with one.. which came over like a wave from the back to front.. I though this was real but its not happened since...

    Can i be in the slow start of labour at all do you think?

  • hi pregnant lady. i don't think it could be the start of labour. it sounds like your body is getting into practice mode for the big day.!!!!!! not too much longer for you now, and just think of the lovely baby you will have at the end of it all, and the more weeks baby stays in your tummy the better for him/her. i have just come out of hospital as i have got pre eclampsia and have to get my blood pressure checked every day. i have got to go back on friday when i will be 37 weeks to be reassessed and my baby may be induced early as i am feeling poorly, i don;t really want this to happen as it poses risks for the babies lungs so the further you go the better for you and your lovely little baby. take it easy and just try to enjoy the last few weeks.xx
  • Hi all, like pregnant lady i have been feeling hormonal for last few wks ( i am 38wks), on mon pm i was convinced i was in labour; was getting pains in back and felt like i needed to push down below due to pressure pains, and even thought that my waters were leaking!! Then i got a bath and a couple of hours later everything stopped! I have got a midwife apt tomorrow now to see whether she can tell if i am in slow labour as my achy back has returned and i don't feel right!!
  • thanks again all...
    Pen.. so glad your out of hospital now! and sorry to hear youve been poorly.
    Just as well they are keeping a good check on you daily!..
    let me know how your getting on... you've certainly not got long now anyway.. so hopefully it will all be over soon.
    if your 37 weeks.. your baby is very well develped anyway isnt she/he?

    ill keep you up to date with any of my progress!!

    [Modified by: pregnant lady on May 30, 2007 07:37 PM]
  • Hi again, my 1st daughter was born at 36wks and everything was fine with her, she is now a healthy 6 yr old, and i know ppl whose babies have been born at 28 wks and twins at 32 wks who have all grown or are growing without major health problems. I hope that your baby follows their 'examples' Pen. Good luck xx
  • hi kate and pregnant lady.
    thanks for your messages. i was quite worried about my baby possibly coming at 36 weeks. but hopefully they will discuss induction on friday for me as my blood pressure is going up. today it was 140/98. so keeping a close eye on it.
    i know of 2 babies that were born at 34 weeks and 36 weeks. and they are perfectly healthy as well. it's just scary when the doc says to you that there is a possibility of babies lungs not being developed enough. but i am sure all will be ok. i'm 36 + 4 weeks now so not long til i can have baby. take care.xx
  • pen if the midwives suspect that they're going to give you a c-section they'll give you steriods to mature baby's lungs for 24 hours, as long as your blood pressure doesn't get any more... but if you're nearly 37 weeks they say baby is ok by then to be born early. Infact they don't class babies born after 37 weeks as pre-term. hope everythign goes well for you. xxxx
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