How are precontractions different from “real” contractions?
Unlike exercise contractions, contractions can be associated with severe pain, which is why many women mistake it for labor.
Of course, the labor-like symptoms that occur shortly before birth are unsettling.
But: Unlike labor pains, contractions still occur very irregularly. Days can even go by between two pre-contractions.
However, the closer you are to birth, the more difficult it can be to distinguish between labor pains. Labor can also become more regular and severe before delivery. Basically, however, you can “breathe” before contractions and use heat to relieve pain. In labor pains, heat can do the exact opposite.
If you are still unsure whether the lower pains are actually labor pains, you should of course check with your midwife to be sure or stop by the hospital.