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How To Time Contractions


Updated May 16, 2014

'Man sitting with pregnant woman holding stop watch, smiling'
Andersen Ross/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Timing contractions is very easy to do, and can tell you a lot about your labor.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 30 minutes

Here's How:

  1. When you think you're having regular contractions get a watch with a second hand or find someone to help you.
  2. When a contraction begins note the time.
  3. When a contraction ends note the time.
  4. The difference in these numbers is how long the contractions are lasting.
  5. Note the time the next contraction begins.
  6. The distance from the first contraction to the second contraction is how far apart your contractions are.
  7. Time a few contractions to check for regularity.


  1. Don't time every contraction. Only time them when they start and when you believe that they've changed in length or space.
  2. Ignore every contractions you can. Getting overly excited can get you to your place of birth faster, but won't make the baby come any sooner.
  3. If you have questions call your doctor or midwife.

What You Need

  • A watch
  • Contraction timing app
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  5. Labor Basics
  6. How to Time Contractions

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