Occurs at regular intervals

Occurs at irregular intervals

Intervals gradually shorten

Intervals remain longer and/or irregular

Intensity gradually increases

Intensity remains the same

Located in the abdomen and back

Located chiefly in the lower abdomen

Not affected by mild sedation

Usually relieved by mild sedation


How to time contractions

Try to keep a record of your contraction. Be patient!

DURATION: Feel your abdomen and record the time the firmness is noted and also when it feels relaxed. This is
usually 15 to 60 seconds in length.

FREQUENCY: Contractions are timed from the beginning of one to the beginning of another contraction. This is
usually noted in minutes.

Be sure to time several contractions in a row and notify your physician when they do appear to be occurring at regu-
lar intervals.

Other possible sign and symptoms of labor

  • Bloody show
  • Gush of water from the vagina; (ruptured membranes)
  • Backache or discomfort occurring in lower abdomen that appears more intense with contractions.