# You asked: How can you tell contractions from Monitor?

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## What should contractions look like on a monitor?

The monitor records the duration of contractions and the time between them but doesn’t tell you the strength of the contraction. Each contraction resembles a hill or a bell-shaped curve, starting low, rising slowly, and then returning to baseline.

## Can you make contractions show up on monitor?

Uterine contractions can be monitored externally, without inserting instruments into your uterus. This is called external uterine monitoring. The monitoring is usually performed in a doctor’s office or hospital. A nurse will wrap a belt around your waist and attach it to a machine called a tocodynamometer.

## Which line shows contractions on monitor?

The bottom line shows your contractions. Comparing your baby’s heartbeat with your contractions shows how your baby is handling the labor. Your doctor will watch to make sure your baby’s heartbeat does not get too low during your contractions.

## What is a normal contraction number on monitor?

Contractions can be described by frequency, duration, strength (amplitude), uniformity, and shape. During normal labor, the amplitude of contractions increases from an average of 30 mm Hg in early labor to 50 mm Hg in later first stage and 50 to 80 mm Hg during the second stage.

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## What number is considered a contraction?

The intensity of Braxton Hicks contractions varies between approximately 5-25 mm Hg (a measure of pressure). For comparison, during true labor the intensity of a contraction is between 40-60 mm Hg in the beginning of the active phase.

## How many Toco is a contraction?

Table 1

Variable Mean Range
Duration of monitoring (min) 137 48.6 – 345.9
IUPC contractions 38.3 8 – 95
EHG contractions 37.7 8 – 94
Toco contractions 26.4 1 – 64

## How can I monitor my contractions at home?

When timing contractions, start counting from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. The easiest way to time contractions is to write down on paper the time each contraction starts and its duration, or count the seconds the actual contraction lasts, as shown in the example below.

## Does baby move during contractions?

If your entire uterus is hard during the cramping, it’s probably a contraction. If it’s hard in one place and soft in others, those are likely not contractions—it may just be the baby moving around.

## How do I know the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions?

Real contractions follow a consistent pattern, while Braxton-Hicks contractions vary in duration and frequency. Braxton-Hicks contractions also tend to be less painful and usually only cause discomfort in the front of the abdomen. Braxton-Hicks contractions simulate real contractions to prepare the body for labor.

## What does Toco mean on a fetal monitor?

The pressure-sensitive contraction transducer, called a tocodynamometer (toco), measures the tension of the maternal abdominal wall – an indirect measure of the intrauterine pressure.

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