It can be hard to tell when you are truly in labor. Contractions (belly tightening) are the main sign of labor. They last from 30 to 60 seconds and might feel like period cramps at first.
False labor pains (called "Braxton Hicks" contractions) can happen anytime in pregnancy, but are more common toward the end.
Here's how to tell if you're in true labor or false labor. If you're not sure, call your health care professional right away.
You do not need to have all symptoms to be in true labor.