Contractions are a true sign of labor, but what does it mean if they are 10 minutes apart?
When contractions are regular and occurring every 10 minutes, it means that labor has begun and is progressing. It is important to keep track of the frequency and length of contractions in order to determine when it is time to head to the hospital.
Contractions are the tightening of the uterus as it prepares for birth. They can feel like menstrual cramps that come and go, lasting anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds. As labor progresses, contractions become stronger, longer, and closer together.
It is recommended to time contractions from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next contraction. This will give an accurate reading of the frequency and track the progress of labor.
If contractions are 10 minutes apart, it may still be too early to head to the hospital. However, if they become closer together, around five minutes apart, and last for one minute or longer, it is time to call the healthcare provider and make arrangements to head to the hospital.
It is also important to note that not all contractions are created equal. Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as false labor, can occur throughout pregnancy and feel similar to real contractions. However, they are irregular and do not increase in intensity or frequency.
In summary, contractions 10 minutes apart are a sign that labor has begun and is progressing. Keep track of the frequency and length of contractions to determine when it is time to head to the hospital. Remember to time from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next contraction to get an accurate reading of contractions. And if in doubt or concerned, always contact the healthcare provider for advice.