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      Beware of These 3 Signs of False Labor

      Labour & Delivery

      Beware of These 3 Signs of False Labor

      Updated on 3 November 2023

      As you approach your due date, you may really start to wonder about this Braxton-Hicks guy and what he had against pregnant women. Fake contractions just don’t seem fair! The good news is that Braxton-Hicks contractions are helping you get ready to have your baby. They’re just doing so very slowly, sometimes way in advance of the real thing. In fact, pre-labour can last for days or weeks, and it’s tricky to tell when the dial moves from pre-labour to early labour to active labour.

      Are my contractions real?

      These signs can clue you in that you’re dealing with false labour and not real labour contractions — for now:

      • You don’t have any bloody show. Or you have some vaginal discharge, but it’s brownish instead of blood-tinged or pink. Sex or an internal exam can result in a brown discharge that might seem like your mucous plug dislodging — but it probably isn’t.

      • You wake up in a pool of fluid that smells like ammonia, and the flow has stopped. Oops — that’s probably urine, not amniotic fluid, which has no odor. If your water breaks, liquid will continue to trickle out; you won’t be able to stop it as you would if you were urinating.

      • You have irregular contractions. Braxton-Hicks contractions can easily fool you into thinking labor has started. But even if you’re a week past your due date, you could still be having false labor contractions, which are usually:

      • Irregular (they don’t happen at regular intervals)

      • Not progressive (they don’t get more severe, intense, or frequent with time)

      • Felt more in the lower abdomen, instead of in the lower back

      • Responsive to a change in position or activity (if you change positions, they go away — so try lying down on your side to see if the contractions stop)

      • Accompanied by movement from your baby

      When in doubt, check it out: If you feel uncomfortable or concerned about any pre-labor or pregnancy symptoms, it’s always best to call your healthcare provider. You might make a trip to the hospital or doctor’s office that turns out to be unnecessary — but you’d be far, far from the only mom-to-be who’s done so. Pre-labor can last for a few hours or a month or more, and signs and symptoms can be different for every person (and every person’s pregnancy).

      How to know if the labor pain is normal?

      Pregnant women often get confused about labour pain. Here are some signs that a pregnant woman must keep in mind to understand that it is time to welcome their child.

      • Blood

      • Frequent and strong contractions

      • Water breaking

      • Lower back and belly pain

      • Dilating of the cervix

      • Baby drops

      • Cramps and increase in the back pain

      • Diarrhea

      • Stop in weight gain

      • Loose-feeling joints

      • Fatigue

      You may like: 10 Effective Exercises to Induce Labor Fast & Have a Safe Delivery (

      Exercises for inducing labor

      There is a list of fast exercise to induce labour. These exercises to induce labor must be practiced by those pregnant women who do not have risks in their pregnancy.

      • Pregnant women often keep their feet wide. However, they can bring the toes parallel which can help separate the sitz bones. It helps to find more space in the lower back. This aids in delivery and labor easily.

      • Do not push the belly forward when you are standing. Instead, stay aligned with the hips over the ankles. This is an easy posture and helps the baby to move in a good posture. It is ideal not to slouch when the pregnant woman is sitting down.

      • Sit on a birthing ball in wide-legged positions. This will prepare the body for labor by enhancing the flow of blood. It also helps open up the pelvis and encourages cervical dilation. Circular hip rotations, gentle bouncing, and rocking for inducing labor.

      • For accommodating the child’s head during delivery, the pelvic bones pull away and become separated. One can loosen the joints by finishing the pelvic tilt exercises. Lie on the back, place the feet flat on the flat and then bend the knees. Lift the pelvis slowly and make it parallel to the torso. After staying in the position for ten seconds, return to the normal position. Repeat a few times.

      • Most of you are aware of the butterfly pose from your yoga or dance class. This pose helps increase the flexibility of the pelvic joints, improves the flow of blood, and makes easy childbirth. For doing this pose, sit upright and bring the feet together. Bend the knees and pull the feet toward the body. This will help in feeling a stretch in the inner thighs and hip. Do not forget to breathe in between.

      • Low-impact cardio exercises like walking have a wide range of benefits during pregnancy. Walking can also be used for inducing labor as well. It helps in cervical dilation and helps the baby to drop in the pelvis. Walking reduces anxiety revolving around delivery.

      • Lunges help in stretching the hips and opening up the pelvis. As a result, the baby goes in the correct birthing position. For doing the lunges, stand straight, then take a big step with one leg. The knee must be over the ankle. The other leg must drop and must be parallel to the ground. Go back to the start position and repeat using the other leg

      Who should not do exercises for inducing labor?

      Doctors recommend regular exercises for pregnant women who have no or low-risk pregnancies. However pregnant women should not do exercises if they experience vaginal bleeding, painful contractions regularly, abdominal pain, amniotic fluid leaks, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, chest pain, calf pain, and so on.

      Talk with your gynecologist before opting for the labor by introducing exercises. This is particularly true for high-risk pregnant women.

      There is a difference between true and false labour pain. Knowing about the signs and symptoms of both true labour and false labour will help one to gauge whether they are going into labour pain or not.


      1. Raines DA, Cooper DB. (2022). Braxton Hicks Contractions. NCBI

      2. InterMountain Health Care. (2017). False vs True Labor: How to Tell the Difference.

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