If this is your first pregnancy, it is obvious to have questions about how it actually feels to go into labor. There are basically three stages of labor. In the very first stage, you experience contractions of your uterus that helps your cervix to open slowly. The next stage starts when your cervix dilates completely, the birth of your baby follows. The last stage of labor is when the placenta separates from your uterus. You will know your labor has started when you experience regular contractions. As time passes, you will have to wait less between subsequent contractions. 

What Does It Mean to Have Contractions 10 Minutes Apart?

The first stage of labor is usually the longest. In some cases, it may take up to 20 hours to pass. The stage starts with dilation of your cervix and ends when your cervix is fully dilated – this is when your cervix opens at 10cm. Your contractions become stronger as your cervix dilates from 0 to 3cm.  You will experience mild contractions at this time that will be 15-20 minutes apart and radiate from back to front. These contractions may last up to 60-90 seconds.

Should I Stay at Home or Go to the Hospital?

It is a good idea to time your contractions as they become regular and stronger. You may stay at home in most cases. However, when you notice there is 7-10 minutes between subsequent contractions, you should call the hospital and speak to your healthcare provider. They will ask some questions about your baby's movement, your current state, and your pregnancy. Depending on your answers, your healthcare provider or midwife will advise you to come in or stay at home for a little while longer.

When to Visit the Doctor

While you may wait at home when you have contractions 10 minutes apart,you should go see your doctor when contractions are less than 5 minutes apart. Do not wait for contractions to become stronger if you feel uncomfortable at home.

The Active Phase of labor starts when your cervix dilates up to 8cm and contractions get stronger. They will be about 3 minutes apart and last about 45 seconds. This is usually the time when most pregnant women start to experience bleeding with some backache. This is called the bloody show. It is important to have someone you love around you at this time because you will feel stressed out due to contractions.

Be sure to go to your hospital when your water breaks. Keep in mind that your contractions are going to get stronger once your "water breaks" or amniotic membrane ruptures. Then, the Transition Phase starts when your cervix dilates up to 10cm and contractions are 2 minutes apart. The contractions will last up to a minute. The pressure on your rectum will increase and you will experience severe backache as well. Expect heavy bleeding to start at this stage.

What Others Have Experienced

I believe the answer to "Contractions 10 minutes apart how much longerwill it take to go in labor?" is not the same for everyone. I experienced contractions when they were ten minutes apart and become stronger in no time. I called the hospital when I could not bear the pain but they said I have to wait until they were five minutes apart. Then, I called them again when my contractions were five minutes apart. Although you have wait until they are less than a couple of minutes apart, you should still call the hospital to keep them informed.

It was different for me. I experienced contractions 8-10 minutes apart then stopped and started again after a while. It was an indicator that I am already in early labor. However, my doctor said it could be false labor, especially if you could take a walk and change activities. The contractions will stop if you change activities. Still, it is a good idea to call your doctor and talk about your condition. Be sure to go to the hospital when your contractions are a couple of minutes apart.

As per my experience, early contractions may hurt but are quite manageable. However, it may be different for other women. Still, I decided to go to the hospital when my contractions 4-5 minutes apart. I was already 4cm dilated when I was admitted. You are already in early labor if your contractions are rather painful and persist even after changing positions.

Make Preparations for Labor

You should prepare for labor when you have contractions 10 minutes apart. As mentioned that labor can be divided into different categories, here is a bit more about how you are going to feel in different stages of labor.

Early Labor

It starts when your contractions are 5-20 minutes apart and your cervix dilates up to 3cm. Each contraction lasts up to 30-45 seconds and is relatively easier. Try to relax your nerves by listening to music or taking a shower. Keep your bladder empty by urinating often. Stick to apple, cranberry, grape, or other clear liquids and avoid eating food unless your doctor has advised otherwise. Be sure to time your contractions.

Active Labor

It starts when contractions are less than 5 minutes apart. Your cervix may dilate u to 8cm and contractions will become intense – they last up to 60 seconds or so. Take some rest, urinate often, and ask your partner to give you a massage. Go to the hospital if you feel uncomfortable.

At Hospital

You should go to the hospital when the active phase of labor begins. Your doctor will give you a hospital gown and then check your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. They will place a monitor on your abdomen to assess your baby's heart rate and check for uterine contractions. They will also check your cervix to confirm how long it will take you to deliver.