I am 32+1 and for the past week have been experiencing really strong braxton hicks. Sometimes as many as 6 an hour. They start low in my uterus like a feeling I get when baby turns her limbs around and then everything seems to tighten from the sides and the bottom into a huge rock hard ball at the front. I get menstrual like pains in my sides (and very occasionally at the front and in groins) at the time it is happening and they last anywhere from 10-50 seconds. I'm wondering when should I worry that it is a contraction? I feel like I would know if I'm having a contraction but it's really hard to tell. I have a ridiculously worried paetner who everytime takes one look at my stomach, googles my symptoms and prepares to call the Maternity unit! which is a bit annoying but i guess its a good thing he is so concerned.
I often have a low dull back ache but it is no different from the back ache I've had for the past 3-4 weeks which I am told is normal.
I have no other signs of pre-term labour. Ie: leaking waters/waters broken.
It's horrible being in that situation where you're worried but you feel like a pest or an over reactor if you call the maternity unit. I always worry if I go in for a normal pregnancy symptom some other baby who actually needs serious help may be suffering! I know i shouldnt think like that but i do and would rather wait til things worsen until i get help but then with pregnancy i know sometimes the earlier you go in the safer it is for baby :/ urgh so stressful haha
I had a pre-term birth with my first. I had a dull stomach ache that carried on for 36 hours, towards the 48 hour mark it more regular and more painful. DS was born 48 hours after the pain started, it wasn't enough pain to worry me until 4-5 hours before he was born (I threw up at home which was a sign that I was in a lot of pain) at that point I had also started bleeding so I demanded to be seen (the hospital originally dismissed the mild cramp like pain as a side effect of having had sex). My waters had to be broken when I was either 9cm or fully dilated. I probably called the hospital 3-4 times that afternoon before we went in.
So that's my experience, I would wait and see if the pain gets worse and you start displaying any vaginal signs. But if you're worried just call them.