**Note** Please don't take this post the wrong way. I am not talking about women in early or prodromal labor. Those buggers hurt, especially if it lasts quite a long time and you're tired. I'm talking about women who are either 1) looking for attention, 2) have some kind of personality disorder, or 3) want so bad to be in labor that they fake it.
Now, the difference between real and fake contractions, per the nurse's perspective:
Real contractions: when I am talking to you, you cannot respond back to me as the contraction hits it's peak. All of your focus is on getting through the contraction. Your eyes might close as you concentrate on the contraction. Your breathing takes on a different pitch. Your body might tense up at the peak, then start to visibly relax as the contraction starts to go on the decline.
Fake contractions: thrashing about in the bed continuously. Palpation to your fundus reveals a soft uterus. Your drama is dramatically increased if there are other people in the room. However, if I "leave" the room during one of your dramatic Emmy award nomination attempts at fake contractions, but I'm actually standing right outside the door within earshot, I can hear just how quickly your thrashing stops. No audience = no thrashing or drama. Audience = thrashing and drama. Also, your fake contractions on the monitor magically disappear when I am in the room. But as soon as I step out, those fake little buggers show up on the monitor every 2 minutes.
PS - enjoy the simple drawings from Paint, made by yours truly