What are Braxton Hicks Contractions and How Do They Work?
Braxton Hicks contractions could be the “false labor pains a pregnant lady might experience before the true ones.” These are your body’s way to prepare for the real deal. They don’t necessarily mean that labor is imminent or has already begun. These are known as Braxton Hicks or false labor pains. However, they are not a sign of labor starting or getting close.
What does Braxton Hicks Contractions feel like?
Braxton Hicks contractions are described by some women as a tightening sensation in the abdomen that changes and returns. They are described as mild menstrual cramps. Braxton Hicks contractions can be painful, but they won’t cause labor.
Unlike true labor, Braxton Hicks contractions:
- They are not usually painful
- Do not try to get closer together
- They will soon be gone!
- Don’t get stronger over time
- You may lose your job or activities.
- Feel only in your belly
- Reduce your efforts and then disappear
Braxton Hicks contractions may occur in your third or even your second pregnancy. These are normal and not something to be concerned about.
Triggers for Braxton Hicks Contractions
Dehydration causes Braxton Hicks contractions most often. There are also other triggers:
- Nausea or Vomiting
- The movement of the fetus
- Mother’s activities, including lifting things or engaging in sex
How do Braxton Hicks Contractions compare with True Labor Contractions.
These questions will help you determine if your contractions are real and if you’re going to labor.
How frequently do contractions occur?
- False labor: Contractions can be irregular and do not get closer.
- True labor: Contractions occur at regular intervals, lasting between 30 and 70 seconds. They become stronger and more closely as time passes.
What happens to them when you move?
- False labor: Contractions can stop when you rest or walk. You can get rid of them by changing your position.
- True labor: Contractions can continue even after you leave, move or change your position.
How strong do Braxton Hicks Contractions look?
- False labor: Contractions tend to be weaker and don’t get stronger, also they may start strong and then become weaker.
- True labor: Contractions grow at a steady rate.
Where does pain feel?
- False labor You usually feel it in your stomach or pelvis.
- True labor: Conditions may begin in your lower back, and then move to your abdomen. They may also start in your abdomen, and then move to your back.
Other abdominal pains during pregnancy
The round ligament pain.
The round ligament painful is a sharp, shooting sensation on your sides. This is because your uterus expands and the ligaments that attach to your pelvis stretch.
Round ligament pain is more common when you move, such as standing up, rolling, coughing or sneezing. You may feel the pain in your groin. The pain usually lasts for a few minutes or seconds.
How to relieve ligament pain?
- You can change your attitude or behavior. You might find it helpful to lie on the other side.
- When you stand or roll, support your belly, move slower.
- Rest, you might be able to rest by taking a hot bath or using a heating pad.
When should you call your doctor?
Talk to your doctor early in pregnancy about what to expect and when to call them.
You can call your doctor or midwife if you aren’t sure if you’re experiencing labor. You should always be able to reach them at any hour for questions or concerns.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your doctor or midwife immediately.
- Any vaginal bleeding
- Fluid leakage or water breaking (this could be gushing fluid or trickling fluid).
- For an hour, strong contractions occur every 5 minutes
- Contractions you cannot “walk through”
- You feel less than 10 movements per hour or notice a significant change in your baby’s movement
- Any signs of labor occurring before 37 weeks?
Braxton Hicks Contractions: Treatment
These contractions don’t require you to do anything. These tips can help you if they are making your life uncomfortable.
- Drink water.
- Go for a walk. False labor contractions can often stop when you move or change your position.
- You can take a break if you have been physically active.
- Take a relaxing bath or listen to music.
- Take a Massage.
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