Contractions are the process of the uterus tightening and relaxing as labor begins. The work of contractions is to move baby down the birth canal and bring baby closer to birth.
Many birth professionals use the terms wave, rush and surge in place of contraction. The idea of the wave is that the contractions are mimicking the motion of the ocean. If you’ve ever floated in the ocean, the waves move you up and out, then return you safely back to shore. The idea behind the words rush and surge is that of an intense boost of energy that fills your whole body and then quietly retreats.
Read more about The Waves of Labor and Birth on the Mother Earth News blog.