After about 30 weeks of pregnancy, many women notice occasional uterine contractions.
Called Braxton Hicks contractions, they’re normal and usually painless.
True premature contractions come at regular intervals or progressively become more frequent or more painful; Braxton Hicks contractions don’t.
What are signs of preterm labor at 30 weeks?
- Backache, which usually will be in your lower back.
- Contractions every 10 minutes or more often.
- Cramping in your lower abdomen or menstrual-like cramps.
- Fluid leaking from your vagina.
- Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Increased pressure in your pelvis or vagina.
- Increased vaginal discharge.
How do contractions feel when they first start?
Labor contractions are the real deal. Some say labor contractions feel a bit like menstrual cramps at first, but then they intensify. Then, contractions feel like a dull ache paired with pelvic pressure. The discomfort moves from the top of the belly to the bottom—think of it as pushing your baby down and out.
How do I know if it’s Braxton Hicks or real contractions?
Braxton-Hicks contractions are not, and they do not lead to birth. Real contractions are generally more intense and follow a consistent pattern, while Braxton-Hicks contractions do not. A woman usually feels pain from real contractions around the abdomen, lower back, and sometimes in the legs.