Choosing a Contraction Timer

Using a stopwatch to time contractions

Pregnant women and their labor coaches will want to have a good contraction timer on hand when the big moment arrives. The decisions of when to call your doctor and when to go to the hospital often center around how far apart the contractions are. While the contraction intensity may seem important, every woman's experience of pain is slightly different, so the most reliable indication of impending birth is how far apart the contractions are. A good contraction timer can keep track of this for you so that you can concentrate on the work at hand.

Labor Contractions

In the weeks leading up to your child's birth, Braxton Hicks contractions may be a regular occurrence. These contractions vary in intensity; while some women may feel that they are going into labor because of the contractions, other women do not even notice the contractions.

Labor contractions, on the other hand, are usually unmistakable (except for some at the beginning before your water breaks). Once you are sure that you are having labor contractions and not Braxton Hicks contractions, it is time to start measuring how far apart your contractions are. In the 21st century, this is much more easily done digitally than with a watch and a pad of paper.

Contraction Timer Software

Contraction timing software is an excellent resource not only because of its ease of use, but also for its recordkeeping capabilities. Contractions are not usually equally spread out in time, which can make the decision of when to call the doctor or go the hospital difficult. If one contraction is five minutes from the previous one, but then the next contraction is 10 minutes from that one, making a general statement about 'how far apart' your contractions are becomes difficult. A contraction timer software program displays the average length and the average time between contractions in the current window of time. Some of them also keep a record of the last 24 hours or however long your contractions have been going on.

iPhone Contraction Timer

iPhone never ceases to amaze with its cool applications, the iPhone contraction timer being one of the most creative ones. It's free and it's easy to use. When a contraction starts, simply click the 'start contraction' button, and when it ends, click the 'stop contraction' button. The averages and record are displayed so that you always know where you stand in the contractions part of the labor process.

Android Timer

A similar app to the iPhone app exists for the Android, and download is free. Be aware, though, that the application gives you a reading of the contraction timing that is measured from the end of the previous contraction to the beginning of the following contraction. Your doctor will be wanting to know how far apart your contractions are from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next one. Hopefully a new version of this app will remedy this issue.

Contraction Master

A free website that times your contractions is available at Contraction Master. This contraction timer is powered directly through the Internet; no download is required and you don't have to sign up for the website in order to use it. Simply click the start button when a contraction starts and click stop when it is over. This website does not average for you, it only records the length of the contractions and how far apart from one another they are. You can print the record at any time or read the record directly from the computer screen to see how the contractions are changing in time.


Another online, free, resource is at Baby2See. The principle is the same as at Contraction Master and no download is required.

Timing Contractions

However you time your contractions, be sure to let your contraction timer take the worry and work out of your own hands so that you can concentrate on labor and delivery. Practice using the timer with your Braxton Hicks contractions so that by the time you need the software for real, you know just how it works.

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Choosing a Contraction Timer