The real deal
You’ll know they’re not Braxton Hicks, or practice, contractions when you start to have them at regular intervals (every 10 to 15 minutes or less) with increasing intensity. Each contraction will cause a tightening in your uterus that may feel like a dull ache similar to menstrual cramps or a low backache.
Time each contraction for duration (from when it starts to when it stops) and frequency (from the start of one contraction to the beginning of the next). An app can help you keep track when the pains of labor take over.
Give your practitioner a heads up when contractions are occurring every five minutes, lasting a minute and have kept up for at least an hour, so she knows a baby is on the way.
Tip: To stay relaxed through your contractions, breathe deeply, and try applying a soothing ice pack or heating pad to your lower back.