Where Do You Feel Contractions?

On the way to labor, your uterus contracts its powerful muscles and the cervix softens and widens to prepare for the child birth. You feel the tightening of your uterine muscles as the uterus pulls upward and pushes your baby down your birth canal. These contractions involve of shortening and tightening of the muscles at the top of the uterus, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. However, where do you feel contractions? Read on find more details about when the labor really comes.

Types of Contractions During Pregnancy and How They Feel

Not all contractions during pregnancy lead to labor. You may feel different types of contractions throughout pregnancy, especially during the latter part. Where do you feel contractions? The answer may depend on which type of contraction you are experiencing.

1. Braxton Hicks Contractions

This type of contractions occurs anytime during pregnancy and is also called practice contractions. However, not every woman experiences this in pregnancy. Usually painless, such contractions may feel like mild menstrual cramps in the middle or lower abdomen. These contractions do not lead to labor.

2. False Contractions

These contractions are Braxton Hicks contractions that usually occur before your actual labor contractions begin and help your cervix get ready for your baby's delivery. False contractions occur intermittently and stop when you change your body position. They do not cause cervical widening and effacement, so these contractions will not lead to labor.

3. Labor Contractions

Unlike false contractions, true labor contractions are intense, persistent, and progressive, becoming more regular in frequency and duration as labor progresses. They do not disappear with changing your body position, and may be accompanied by upset stomach or diarrhea.

Where do you feel contractions? The uterine contractions may begin in the middle lower abdomen, but the pain may travel to the lower back and upper thighs. As labor progresses, the cervix begins to soften and wider; bloody show (reddish discharge) and rupture of your membrane (or water break) may occur.

In Conclusion

Usually, you can feel the contractions at the lower middle abdomen, but you can also feel contractions at lower back. Women may experience contractions in many ways. Some women are not bothered by Braxton-Hicks contractions or false labor contractions, while others feel that they are like mild menstrual cramps. Labor contractions usually cause pain and discomfort in your lower abdomen and back, as well as pressure in your pelvis. However, labor contractions may also move in a wave-like manner from the top of your uterus down to the bottom. Some moms describe contractions as being like strong menstrual cramps.

How Do Other Moms Feel Contractions?

Aiming to giving sufficient details for the questions, where do you feel contractions, here are some moms’ experiences on feelings about contractions.

Robin's Feeling:

"My contractions during labor felt like a wave of pressure that started out mildly, and then peaking at a point like something was wrapping around my belly very tightly. At the same time, it felt like my belly was being pulled down. The wave of contraction would start from the bottom then move up like continuous pressure waves, one on top of another with small breaks in between. I tried to keep my body relaxed as I felt my baby moving down with the opening of my cervix."

Anna's Experience:

"My contractions started out like pressure, which were strong enough to make me stop whatever I was doing. However, I do not recall feeling any pain, but there were intense muscle contractions. The midwife made me do a deep squat and bear weight upon the shoulders. My legs became shaky and ready to give in as more weight was added. When my water broke, I felt intense painful contractions in the lower belly, which radiated to my back and upper thighs."

Chelsea's Story:

"My labor contractions were not very painful and but they lasted all night. My stomach felt very hard to touch and the contractions were not following any patterns at first. In the morning, bloody show came out and the contractions got a lot more intense, although not painful. It was just like having diarrhea cramps or period cramps. I tried to stay relaxed as they got more intense further into labor."

What Can You Do If You Have Contractions?

Following the questions, where do you feel contractions, you will naturally want to know how to deal with contractions. Towards the end of pregnancy, you may experience contractions more often but they don't always lead to cervix changes or even labor. Your health care provider needs to examine your cervix if you are really beginning to go into labor.

1. Keep Records

To help you know if you are having true labor contractions, try to time your contractions and write down your observations on the intervals between contractions and the duration of each contraction. Record these for about an hour.

2. Do Some Gentle Movement

You can change positions and walk around to see if these relieve your discomfort. False labor contractions usually stop on their own or disappear when you walk. They are usually irregular and do not get stronger or worse with time.

3. Seek Medical Help Timely

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between false and real labor. When the timing is right, your health practitioner will ask you a few questions over the phone or in the clinic or hospital to provide information and to assess your condition, like where do you feel contractions. Just talk through your contractions to help the doctor make a proper assessment of your situation.