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I know this site is only about Parenting so hope this question is not too far off this site scope.

My wife is 37 weeks and 5 days into her pregnancy and till now she just used to have pains similar to menstrual cramps but since yesterday night her cramps are more regular about 2 hours apart, last for 20-30 mins and accompanied with a tightness of her stomach, which is new.

We did go in to the hospital yesterday and she and the baby checked out fine.

So i wanted to know, is she starting her contractions if not what do contractions actually feel like?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, this is what contractions feel like (although they get closer together, shorter, and stronger in labour).

These could be Braxton-Hicks contractions ("practice contractions") and just a sign that she needs to slow down and rest more and stay well-hydrated. You can also have days or weeks of what is called "prodromal labour" before the real thing happens. There's a good overview of Braxton-Hicks and prodromal labour here: http://thebirthteacher.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/prodromal-labor.html

Also, at 37w5d she's technically term anyway, so not a big problem if it does turn out to be the real thing.

Good luck :-)

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Very useful to differentiate between labour contractions and "practice" (Braxton-Hicks) contractions. –  Chris Sep 10 '13 at 1:33
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