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5 signs you’re in labor

Young pregnant woman looking at her wrist watch, timing contraction pains and holding her tummy in her bedroom at home.

For many first-time moms it’s hard to know when it’s time to grab the hospital bag and go. If it’s the real deal, one or more of these will be happening:

Contractions are consistent.
When you have experienced six to eight contractions per hour for two or more hours,
it could be a sign that you are in early labor. In true labor, the contractions will come regularly, and there will be less downtime between them as labor progresses.

And getting longer.
In the beginning of labor, the tightening sensation of a contraction usually lasts 30 seconds but increases up to 60 seconds as labor continues.

And starting to hurt.
Unlike a Braxton Hicks contraction, labor contractions become increasingly intense and painful.

Resting or walking isn’t helping.
With false labor, contractions will often cease if you change your activity or body position. But real labor contractions will continue regardless of what you’re doing.

You’ve lost your mucus plug or had a bloody show.
This indicates that your cervix is widening, which increases the likelihood you’re experiencing true labor contractions.

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