You're due any day now and suddenly it hits you: An incredible wave of pain stretching across your abdomen that can only mean one thing. You're in labor! Or are you? How can you be sure? You could just be experiencing Braxton Hicks labor, or "false" labor. That's your body's way of practicing for labor pains -- but you're still not ready to have that baby yet. In fact, if you're having false labor, all you really need to do is relax, maybe take a walk, and make yourself comfortable.
But labor is something else. Once you start getting real labor pains, you should let your doctor or midwife know and then start timing how long and far apart your pains are. Before you have that baby, make sure you know the difference between early labor pains, Braxton Hicks contractions, and just plain ol' cramps. Here are 11 common labor-like symptoms and whether they're most likely labor pains or Braxton Hicks.