Skip to content
Home » What are Braxton Hicks Contractions?

What are Braxton Hicks Contractions?

braxton-hicks-contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that can occur during pregnancy, usually starting in the second trimester. They are named after John Braxton Hicks, the English physician who first described them in 1872.

Braxton Hicks contractions are also sometimes called false labor or practice contractions.

Unlike true labor contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and do not grow stronger or closer together over time. They may last for a few seconds to a minute, and often go away when you change position or relax.

It’s thought that Braxton Hicks contractions may help to prepare your body for labor and delivery. They may also help to prevent your uterine muscles from becoming too stretched out during pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks contractions are generally considered harmless and normal. However, if you’re experiencing them regularly, or if they become painful, you should consult your doctor or midwife.

Braxton Hicks contractions tend to be more common in the third trimester, as your due date approaches. However, they can occur at any time during pregnancy.

 

How are Braxton Hicks Contractions different from real contractions?

braxton-hicks-contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions differ from true labor contractions in a few key ways:

– True labor contractions grow stronger and closer together over time, while Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and do not get closer together.

– True labor contractions cause discomfort in your lower back, while Braxton Hicks contractions may be felt anywhere in the abdomen.

– True labor contractions do not stop when you change position or relax, while Braxton Hicks contractions often go away when you move around or rest.

 

Conclusion

Braxton Hicks contractions are an entirely normal part of pregnancy, and while they can be uncomfortable, they are not a cause for concern. By staying hydrated, changing positions frequently, and taking breaks when needed, you can reduce the discomfort. However, it’s important to know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions and when to seek medical attention. Always listen to your body and trust your instincts. Remember, your healthcare provider is there to offer support and reassurance, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them with any concerns.

 

FAQs about Braxton Hicks contractions

Q: Do all pregnant women experience Braxton Hicks contractions?

A: While most pregnant women will experience Braxton Hicks contractions at some point during their pregnancy, not all women will have them.

 

Q: Are Braxton Hicks contractions a sign that labor is about to start?

A: Braxton Hicks contractions are not a sign that labor is starting. They may occur several weeks or even months before labor begins.

 

Q: Are Braxton Hicks contractions painful?

A: While some women find Braxton Hicks contractions to be uncomfortable, they are usually not painful. If they become painful, you should consult your doctor or midwife.

 

Q: Can I do anything to prevent Braxton Hicks contractions?

A: There is no known way to prevent Braxton Hicks contractions. However, if you are experiencing them frequently or they are becoming painful, you should consult your doctor or midwife.

 

Leave a Reply