As you near the end of your pregnancy, you may start noticing signs and feeling symptoms of false labor. They can set in one month or one day before you actually give birth - only time will tell. The question is how will you know when it's real - and when it's not?
Often, it can be difficult to tell whether you are in true labor or having false labor. Generally, your health care provider will be able to tell if you are in labor by checking your cervix to determine if it is effaced (thinned) and dilated (opened).
The following are some tips that may help you to distinguish true labor from false labor:
The Real Thing (True Labor)
False Start (False Labor)
Remember the list above includes the most common findings between true and false labor, but every woman and baby are different. You may still be unclear whether you are in true labor, and it is always better to call your health care provider for guidance.
Review Date: 12/9/2012
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.