If you are a first-time mom, you probably have many questions regarding your pregnancy, especially about labor. Labor is the last phase of your pregnancy, and at this stage, things could be pretty confusing and painful.
There would be a time when your body will send you a signal that labor is already fast approaching, and some of these signals are whether true or false. One of these body signals is contractions. The question is; what to do if you are experiencing contractions ten (10) minutes apart? I prepared a guide for you so that the moment you experience it, you will know how to react to it.
The 3 Stages of Labor
To know labor is to understand its three stages too. There are three stages of work. In the first stage of delivery, you will feel contractions in your uterus because it will help you slowly open your cervix. The next phase or stage will start when your cervix dilates, then the baby’s birth follows. The last phase or stage is the separation of your uterus from the placenta.
The first indicator that the labor is starting is when you feel contractions. Contractions are the tingly and painful feeling you feel in your tummy. The question is when you are experiencing contractions ten (10) minutes apart, is it the time to call the doctor?
What to do if you are Experiencing Contractions Ten (10) Minutes Apart?
The longest stage of your labor is the first stage. It usually takes up to twenty (20) hours to pass in most cases. The first phase starts with the cervix’s dilation and ends when it’s full dilation. At this moment, the cervix is open at 10cm.
The contractions will become stronger as the dilation becomes 0 to 3cm. Mild contractions would be felt now, and it is usually (15-20) fifteen to twenty minutes apart. The contractions also usually last up to 90 seconds.
1. Stay Home or Not?
Time the contractions you feel because it becomes more substantial and regular. You can stay at home if you are experiencing contractions ten (10) minutes apart, like in most cases. But, if the contractions are (7-10) seven to ten minutes apart and are subsequent, call and talk to your doctor or healthcare provider quickly.
Some of the questions they would be asking are about your baby’s movement, your current state, about the pregnancy. The health care providers’ advice will depend on your responses to your situation, so it’s better to describe them in detail. They will advise you to stay home for a while most of the time.
2. The Best Time to Visit the Hospital or Doctor
If your contractions are 10 minutes apart, you can stay home. However, if it becomes less than (5) five minutes apart, it is best to see your doctor or healthcare provider. It’s not advisable to wait for the contractions to get more intense and robust because it will make you very uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable, it will worsen the contractions.
Your labor’s Active Phase will start when your contractions become even more robust, and your cervix’s dilation is up to 8cm. At this point, the contractions will be (3) three minutes apart and usually last for about 40-45 seconds. At this point also, you are likely to experience backache and bleeding.
Those who experience this sometimes refer to this as a bloody show. It’s recommended that your loved ones are around at this very moment because you will be stressed out, and you will need their emotional support.
Once the contractions become more robust, your water will break. This is the cue then the next phase or the Transition stage will start. The cervix dilation is 20cm, and the contractions become 2 minutes apart.
3. Preparations for Labor
If you are starting to experience contractions 10 minutes apart, preparing yourself for the labor is essential. I have already discussed with you the three stages of work. At this point, I will tell you to show how it is likely to feel in a particular set of labor.
Early Labor. At this moment, your contractions are estimated to be (5-20) five to twenty minutes apart, and the cervix’s dilation is 3cm. You will feel the contractions for 45 seconds each. What should you do? Calm your nerves by taking a shower or listening to music. Urinate often to keep an empty bladder.
Avoid eating food except if the doctor or health care provider advised otherwise. Stick to cranberry, grape, apple, and other clear liquids because it will help you keep hydrated. Time your contractions because it is essential.
Active Labor. This stage starts when the contractions you are feeling are (5) five minutes apart. The cervix dilates to 8cm, making the contractions very intense. You will feel these contractions for (60) sixty seconds or more. Again, urinate often. Take a rest, and you can even ask for a slight massage. However, if you feel very uncomfortable, go to the hospital immediately.
At Hospital. If the Active Stage of labor is already happening, go to the hospital. The doctor will check your temperature, pulse, and pressure. To assess your baby’s heart rate, they will put a monitor in your abdomen. Your cervix will also be checked to identify how long you will deliver the baby.
4. Identifying False Labor from True Labor
Pregnancy is sometimes or always really complicated. There are signs that you are undergoing this or soon have labor, but sometimes it’s just a false alarm. Even though we cannot be absolute, it’s important to notice or know false labor from actual work.
False Labor. It usually has the following symptoms: irregular contractions that are more than 5 minutes apart, constant and non-intermittent pelvic pressure, losing the mucous plug is not a direct indication, and dehydration can sometimes cause irregular contractions, so you better drink fluids and take a shower.
True Labor. This is distinguishable from false labor because the contractions you feel are 5 minutes apart and last 2 minutes, and it continues for 1-2 hours, the contractions will make you catch your breath, and it doesn’t go away even if you drink fluids or lie down.
5. Call the Doctor!
Immediately call the doctor if you are experiencing the following: contractions that are 5 minutes apart and last for 60 seconds, you are experiencing vaginal bleeding and continuous abdominal pain, and your bag of water breaks.
If your doctor has given you instructions other than these, please verify and follow them. Not all pregnancy and labor are valid for every woman. Every pregnancy is unique and is quite different from one woman to another.
The guide and tutorials I gave above about contractions 10 minutes apart and even other types of contractions aim to help first-time mothers know what to do during labor time and not panic. As I’ve said, again and again, all mothers will have different experiences regarding this. I just put up the article to inform people what usually happens at this particular stage of labor to avoid further complications.
If you are on the stage of experiencing contractions 10 minutes apart, labor is not yet there. You can try to relax by listening to music or getting a massage. Staying home can still be an option. However, if you become uncomfortable with it, you can call your doctor or healthcare provider and tell her your situation; she’d be the best person to know what exactly needs to be done.
Remember, though, that the pain will be worth it when your baby is safely delivered. That’s the best part of pregnancy, seeing your baby alive and healthy.
If you like the tutorial and the tips I gave you, please let me know in the comments below. If you have questions and some concerns, you can raise them too. I hope that you learned a lot from me.