Preterm birth is when the birth of the baby occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. The contractions of the second stage of labour have a different feel to them because they have a different purpose. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, your cervix may start to get shorter and stretchier (Baker and Kenny 2011:192, Simkin and Ancheta 2011, Walsh 2004:430), ready to dilate and make way for your baby.
It is probably true to say that informal contractions are more common in American English. Each time contractions seem stronger or more regular, I get my hopes up, and I am crushed. When I go to the store, I ride around in one of those motorized scooters because the walking around starts contractions.
However, understanding the difference between these two words is crucial for successful communication. Thinking of what is more painful – the contractions or childbirth itself is not preferable. Braxton Hicks contractions are not a problem; however, if the contractions should become more regular and increase in strength, it is advisable for the mother to contact her doctor.
At this point I am 41 weeks pregnant, have had contractions for 3 days now and nothing has happened yet. Active labor (the time you should come into the hospital) is usually characterized by strong contractions that last 45 to 60 seconds and occur three to four minutes apart.
Words in parentheses are no longer commonly used, but some still exist in common expressions such as colla voce. I was experiencing strong contractions sporadically from an hour apart to 1.30 min were more consistent at night, and really only spaced out during the morning.