thats a contraction, contractions aren't always painful or even felt but sometimes the pain is felt and not the tightening, she's probably reached the point where her cervix is starting to dialate (open) or efface (thin), at 36 weeks a pregnancy is considered full term, so make sure to tell the obgyn next time it happens because she may want you to go to triage to make sure she isn't in early labor.
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