2.3.4 Measuring contractions
To assess the frequency and duration of contractions, put your hand over the mother’s abdomen, around the fundus. You will sense the abdomen starting to tighten and become hard. The mother may make ‘pain’ sounds with the contraction. Count the frequency, i.e. number of contractions in 10 minutes, and the duration (the time elapsed during each contraction in seconds). You will learn how to record these measurements, the mother’s vital signs and your measurements of the fetal heart rate on a chart called a partograph in Study Session 4.