Agree with mayhew. I had a 48 hour pre labour. Contractions ramped up then stopped, sometimes for hours. Had 5 hour break before labour proper, and yes, far more intense. Laboured for 5.5 hours before DS born, so my body was clearly doing quite a bit during those 48 hours. Try to sleep and eat and be glad of the break! Baby's on the way.....
No its not "false" labour. Its preparatory, its latent phase. What its doing is getting your baby better positioned and preparing your cervix to dilate by making it softer, thinner and a little open. It might get you to 3-5 cms before it really gets going. This is all useful! Some people have a lot of this over several days before the unstoppable active labour with progressive dilatation.
You are unlikely to be dilating progressively until you are contracting every 3-4 minutes on an established basis, this is active labour.
it is interesting that the length of the latent phase (preparation) has no relation to the length of the active phase that leads to delivery. So my advice is try and ignore the latent phase as much as humanly possible, eat and drink and rest when you can. You can take paracetomol, use heat or cold pads, use TENS and practice any relaxation technique you know.
Well, yesterday i just had random contractions and had to go and have a little lie down. By about ten o'clock I was having regular contractions every twenty minutes. Mind you these were very very painful contractions, took my breath away couldn't walk through them and my baby was moving through them which made them a lot worse to deal with. No they aren't Braxton hicks I have had them since 20 weeks and being 39 weeks today I do know what they feel like. So, anyway these contractions stopped at 3am. I was heartbroken as this is my first baby and have had a real tough time!!! So much that I really don't think I could go through it again. However I have come to the conclusion that it was 'false labour' I really did think it was the real thing. Whole stomach tightenings, each lasting a minute long and all coming right on cue, they did start to get stronger aswell but obviously they had stopped. So I was just wondering if anyone else has had this and how long did 'true labour' start after??
I don't know if I'm dilated/effaced as I asked my midwife and she said they don't really check now until your in actual active labour. I live in the U.K so this might be different for most of you.
Let me know what you guys think, happy pregnancy peoples x