True vs. false labor nursing maternity review for students!
For your maternity exams, you want to be familiar with how to differentiate between the signs and symptoms of true vs. false labor. In this review, I will give you two mnemonics to help you distinguish between these two types of labor signs and symptoms.
True vs. False Labor Lecture
True vs. False Labor Nursing Review
To help you distinguish between true vs. false labor, you want to understand that the differences between the two center around the characteristics of the contractions and what those contractions are accomplishing….hence are they producing changes to mom’s cervix and baby’s position etc.
Therefore, remember these four concepts about contractions when trying to distinguish between true vs. false labor:
- Contraction frequency
- Are the contractions predictable (mom can predict when another contraction is coming) and regular?
- Are the contractions unpredictable and irregular (mom can’t really predict when another one is coming)?
- Contraction Intensity
- Intensity of contractions are consistent….meaning the contractions are strong and overtime they are getting stronger and stronger….plus they are radiating from mom’s back to the abdomen.
- Intensity of contractions vary….meaning contractions are overall weak with some strong ones but aren’t consistent with intensity….plus the contraction pain tends to be confined to the upper abdomen (above the belly button).
- Contraction Achievement
- Are the contractions causing changes to the cervix and baby’s position? Is the cervix progressively dilating and thinning (effacement)? Is the baby engaged in the pelvis (fetal station 0)?
- Contraction Affected by Activity
- Do the contractions weaken or disappear with activity (position changes or walking)?
Now let’s apply these four concepts to two mnemonics to help us distinguish true vs. false labor. Note that each mnemonic is just four letters long, which goes along with the four concepts above:
Timing of contractions regular
Radiating contraction pain
Unable to relieve contraction pain with activity
Exam changes present
Fails to cause changes to cervix and baby’s position
Activity diminishes contractions
Keep feeling contractions above belly button (they don’t radiate from back to abdomen)
Erratic timing of contractions
Test your knowledge on this content with the true vs. false labor nursing quiz.
Am I in labor?. Retrieved 28 April 2020, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000508.htm
Labor and birth | Womenshealth.gov. Retrieved 5 May 2020, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/childbirth-and-beyond/labor-and-birth