Logo of Maricopa OBGYN, Phoenix Obstetrics and Gynecology

1661 E Camelback Rd
Suite 160
Phoenix, AZ 85016

4530 E. Ray Rd
Suite 125
Phoenix, AZ 85044

Important messages from Maricopa OB/GYN regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

Office Visits and Patient Safety

Am I in Labor?

What does “LABOR” mean?

Labor is the way a woman's body prepares to give birth. This involves having contractions, which is when the uterus tightens. Contractions can be painful and make your belly feel hard. During labor, your cervix softens, thins out, and opens up or "dilates." As you get closer to giving birth, your baby will move down from the uterus into the vagina. When this happens, it can feel like you are going to have a bowel movement.

How do I know when I am having contractions?

At first, contractions will feel like period cramps. As labor goes on, the contractions will get stronger, closer together, more consistent, and more painful. Some women will have back pain. Contractions feel like muscles pulling painfully in your lower belly.

How do I time my contractions?

Start timing your contractions when it seems like they are coming more regularly. You time your contractions by counting the number of minutes from the start of one contractions to the start of the next contraction. There are apps you can download to your phone to help you track your contractions.

What is "Early Labor?"

The early phase of labor is when the cervix starts to dilate to 4cm dilation. These contractions may be irregular and far apart (15 to 20 minutes). These contractions are not usually as painful as the contractions during later stages of labor. As you get closer to the second stage labor your contractions will become more regular, last longer, stronger, and closer together.

Things you can do in early labor:

  • If it's at night, try to sleep. You need to rest.
  • During the day, you can do several things.
    • WALK - If the pain you are feeling is real labor, walking will make the contractions come closer together and they will be stronger. If your contractions go away when walking, then you are most likely in early labor.
    • REST - Take a nap if you can. Lay on your side and relax. Let your body do the work
    • TAKE A SHOWER or BATH - his will help relax you.
    • DRINK WATER - Your contractions may not be effective if you do not drink enough water. You need to be well hydrated to help your body work well during labor.
    • EAT - Labor is a big event! Your body needs a lot of energy to be effective. Eat whatever you feel like eating.
    • MASSAGE - If your labor is in your back, a strong massage on your lower back may feel very good. Ask your partner to massage your feet, this can be very relaxing.
  • Please use the algorithm in the PDF below to help you decide what to do.

Phoenix Office


1661 E Camelback Rd
Suite 160
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Ahwatukee Office


4530 E Ray Rd
Suite 125
Phoenix, AZ 85044

Hospital Affiliation

         Main 602-839-2000
OB Triage 602-839-6700

Banner University
Medical Center Phoenix

1111 E McDowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85006