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Confused about 'period pain' as pre-labour sign...

(4 Posts)
Tinkjon Sun 09-Sep-07 11:23:43

OK, so I've heard lots of people say that they got period pains around the time of their labour. I've been having these on and off for about a month (am 38+5) but I'm wondering if my period pains are different to what everyone else calls period pains, as mine definitely aren't like contractions. Mine is a dull, constant muscular ache, very low down in my abdomen. So, as these pains are constant for up to 20 mins at a time rather than a minute or so, and they don't come and go regularly, and the pain isn't over my bump at all, I'm right in saying that these pains aren't contractions, would you agree? A friend of mine said that a contraction was a pain felt over your bump, like someone pulling a belt tight around your stomach, but she says this is what she calls period pain anyway. But I've only ever felt period pain very low down near my pubic bone though, never near my belly button... so now I'm really confused about what people think a period pain is and whether mine is anything to do with imminent labour or just general pregnancy aches & pains. And this is where you now all reassure me that I'm not about to go into labour, thanks

Pheebe Sun 09-Sep-07 11:35:31

Hi Tink

If you've been getting the pain for about a month I think its safe to say its not a sign of impending labour. Having said that at 38+5 you could indeed go into labour at any minute as you're now 'full term'. The pain you describe could just be the weight of the baby causing your muscles and ligaments to stretch or they could be braxton hicks, these are uncoordinated, irregular practice contractions. its worth remembering that everyone experiences contractions differently, just because it felt like a belt being tightened around the tummy for your friend does not mean thats how your contractions will feel. Some women experience the majority of the pain in their back, others in waves down over their bump, others mostly at the bottom of the bump (initially at least).

Most women get quite a bit of warning that labour is coming (even if they don't realise it). You might have a show (bloody discharge), your waters might break, you might start nesting or get hugely emotional. Alot of women have a huge erm bowel evacuations beforehand as the hormones surge in preparation for birth.

Try not to worry too much, it will happen when it happens. Rest loads, your bodies about to do something amazing.

Good luck, I'm not far behind you with DS2 (33+2)

Phee grin

Chattyhan Sun 09-Sep-07 11:40:32

Hi Tinkjon - i get simular pains to you and have never experienced tightenings all over my bump with this or my last pregnancy. My midwife assures me the aching/throbbing pains at the base of my bump are caused by my uterus stretching at the bottom. Some days they get really bad and seem to go on for ages other times i get more concentrated pain in my ovaries. I'm not convinced that my midwife is entirely correct as when in labour last time my contraction were doubling up stomach cramps that came and went. I've heard lots of people suffer from this type of pain and you can take parecetemol.

Tinkjon Mon 10-Sep-07 10:06:55

Thanks, Pheebe & Chatty (hi Chatty!) Appreciate your replies, that was reassuring!

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