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How many contractions?

(9 Posts)
notcitrus Wed 10-Sep-08 16:40:43

I'm probably over-analysing - actually I'm sure I am but I'm brain-dead and achy and trying to distract myself from BH twinges... I don't think they hurt enough to be real contractions...

My question - how many contractions are you likely to have in labour (first baby)? It occurred to me that if you have labour lasting about 12 hours, and have a contraction every 4 minutes on average, that's 180 of them... which doesn't sound that many. Although more than the first time I did that sum and came up with 96 (which obviously leads to a song about 99 contractions of uterine wall...)

Does anyone know if labours tend to take the same number of contractions to get the baby out, so that if they're happening closer together that means the whole thing is likely to be over quicker? I've heard the line "every contraction is one you don't have to do again" but not sure if that's just a platitude.

I tend to find that meditation and self-hypnosis methods based around counting work pretty well for me, so if I could start counting down from a suitably high number it might distract my brain quite well.

AmIWhatAndWhy Wed 10-Sep-08 16:42:35

Count down from 1000, then it's a bonus if the baby comes at say 230.

But seriously, don't try to over think things. Every labour is different.

CatIsSleepy Wed 10-Sep-08 16:45:06

good lord I have no idea
yes you are over-analysing grin
i had contractions for about 2 and a half days...not every 4 minutes though...i didn't count them!

ellideb Wed 10-Sep-08 16:46:28

It's an interesing question NC, though not one I've ever bothered to work out grin It would be interesting if contractions where actually added up so people would have an average estimate for knowing how many they have to get through. I've heard them say that each one is one less and brings you a step closer to having your baby, which does sound true and is comforting in a way!

Are your BH waking you up at night? Mine are too at the mo and they can be pretty uncomfortable so its hard to get any decent sleep.

I will be watching with interest to see what people come up with!

I worked this out once. Average labour for a first time mum is 18 hours. Once in established labour you will normally be contracting either 3 n 10 or 4 in 10.

So I reckon between 324 and 432 once labour is established (3cm dilatation).

ShowOfHands Wed 10-Sep-08 16:50:07

I have too much time on my hands. Worked out that I probably had about 280 but towards the end they lasted over 2 minutes.

I thought I'd find counting helped labour but on the day, yelling NNNGGHHHFFFTGGHHT was better.

notcitrus Wed 10-Sep-08 16:57:04

ellideb - I haven't slept more than two hours together in the last week, and it's showing! Last few days I've tried to mainly spend in bed but have to usually get up at least once an hour to pee/turn/go ouch from BH - and I have bad SPD so being in bed is one of the most painful things I can do. And I can't sleep.

Hence sitting on one of three items (padded chair, kneeling chair, birthing ball), each of which is comfortable for about 30 min at a time, and wittering away like an idiot on the internet!

ellideb Wed 10-Sep-08 17:03:55

I hear ya! Suffering the same probs myself! I think I probably get ooo abut an hour of uninterrupted sleep at a time before waking up to either pee, roll over (no mean feat), SPD pain or BH! I can't sit anywhere for long periods either. Wittering away on MN is my only pleasure these days! Not long to go now!

belgo Wed 10-Sep-08 17:04:56

I couldn't even time my contractions, let alone count them, I was far too busy concentraing on getting through them!

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