stopwatchThere are several ways to time contractions leading up to labor and delivery:

  • Use a watch, stopwatch or timer. Place your hand on your belly. When it starts to harden, that’s the beginning of your contraction. Click your stopwatch or timer or set up a signal, such as raising your other hand, to let someone else know when to start the timer for you. (Let’s face it: It’s hard to count during a contraction.) When the next contraction starts, stop the timer or signal to stop it. That amount is how far apart your contractions are.
  • Use technology. Instead of using a pencil, calculator, stopwatch and unfocused brain to time your contractions, check out the Contraction Master. Hit the Start button on your computer’s screen when a contraction starts and finishes, and the site does all the calculating for you, so you can concentrate on the things that really matter … like an epidural. There’s also an iPhone app so you can measure your contraction on your way to labor and delivery.
  • Make sure you time a few contractions and take the average. That will also help you make sure you’re measuring it correctly while determining whether your contractions are coming regularly and at increasingly closer intervals before you dash out to the hospital. If you’re not sure if you are in labor or if you believe that you are in labor, call your doctor or midwife to report how far apart your contractions are. They’ll let you know whether it’s time for labor and delivery….or more looking at your watch.