The Gabrielson Clinic for Women

How do I time my contractions?

Follow the below to time your contractions.

  • Use a watch or clock with a second hand.
  • Lie on your side and feel your belly. If it is hard and you can’t press your fingertips in, this is a contraction.
  • The next time your belly gets hard, write down the time. This is when your contraction begins.
  • Then note the time when your belly becomes soft. This is when the contraction ends. This is the length of the contraction. Contractions can last from 20 to 90 seconds.
  • Note the time when the next contraction begins again. This is how far apart your contractions are. This is from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next.
  • Time your contractions for at least 30 minutes. Your nurse or doctor will ask you how long they are lasting, how often, and if they are regular (same time apart or scattered).

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