Braxton Hicks contractions are uterine contractions that arise from the second half of pregnancy and serve as practice for the time of childbirth.
Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as contractions of false labor or training, are uterine contractions that can be perceived usually from the third trimester of pregnancy.
Despite causing some trepidation in pregnant, these contractions are innocent, do not cause harm to the baby and have no relationship as the beginning of labor.
In this article from babyinger.com we will explain what are Braxton Hicks contractions, which are your symptoms and how they are different from the contractions of labor.
If you’re looking for information about causes of cramping and abdominal pain during pregnancy, read: leading causes of abdominal pain in pregnancy.
What Are Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions were described for the first time in 1872, by doctor John Braxton Hicks, and are considered a form of the uterus “train” to the time of delivery; they are not expulsivas contractions and, therefore, not result in risk of premature birth. Any pregnant woman goes into labor because Braxton Hicks contractions.
Training contractions may be present from the first trimester of pregnancy, however, in most cases, they are discrete and pregnant just really understand them from the end of the second quarter. As the pregnancy progresses, the Braxton Hicks contractions tend to become increasingly common, being present until their last weeks of pregnancy.
Braxton Hicks contractions are short and occur at irregular intervals and unpredictable. Trivial situations can unleash them, such as increased activity on the part of the mother or baby, palpation of the abdomen, sex, dehydration or have a full bladder.
Differences Between Braxton Hicks Contractions And Contractions Of Childbirth
One of the most striking differences between Braxton Hicks contractions and contractions of childbirth is the fact the first usually painless and irregular frequency. The contractions may be uncomfortable training in some cases, the more they are quite different from the intense and painful contractions of labor.
How to describe training contractions may be different from woman to woman. There are some pregnant women who describe training contractions as something similar to mild menstrual cramps or intestinal cramps, despite this not being the most common presentation. In most cases, the women describe are only painless uterine contractions.
As already mentioned, the Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular, their ranges are unpredictable and they’re not becoming stronger and more frequent with the pass of time, which is exactly the behavior of contractions of childbirth.
Another fact that is typical of the contractions of training is the relief of the contractions after a simple change of position. If the woman is standing, often just her sit or lie down for the contractions disappear. Lie on my side usually helps, too.
Opposite way, during labour, change of position has no effect on the contractions. When expulsivas contractions begin, nothing works to relieve them.
Below, we summarize the main features of the Braxton Hicks contractions and contractions of childbirth.
1-Braxton Hicks Contractions:
Are usually painless.
Appear a few times a day.
Don’t come more than 2 times per hour.
Are irregular and unpredictable.
Are short, usually lasting less than 30 seconds.
Don’t become more intense with the passage of time.
When a contraction is intense, following contraction is often weaker.
Tend to be located in one part of the abdomen, usually in the front portion.
Improve with changes of position.
Improve with moisturizing or urination.
When they appear, they just keep coming.
Become progressively stronger.
Become progressively more frequent and predictable.
The intervals between the contractions become increasingly short.
Is a 30 to 70 seconds.
Do not get better with change of position or hydration.
Tend to locate in the back and on the front of the abdomen (can get behind and migrate forward or the reverse).
When You Contact Your Obstetrician
The majority of women can easily distinguish Braxton Hicks contractions from contractions of childbirth.However, if you are unsure or if the pattern of contractions have recently changed, contact your obstetrician.
Some warning signs that should not be ignored, even if the contractions do not have the characteristics of labor described above. They are:
Vaginal blood loss.
Fluid loss through the vagina.
Very painful contractions of sudden onset.
Clear reduction of the baby’s movements.
To learn more about warning signs related to pregnancy, read: 10 signs that can indicate problems in pregnancy.
What To Do To Alleviate Braxton Hicks Contractions
Despite the Braxton Hicks contractions are typically painless, they can be uncomfortable. To relieve this discomfort, some measures can be tried:
Change of position. If you are standing, sit down; If you’re sitting, stand up.
Drink plenty of water.
Urinate if you feel like it.
Avoid making efforts.
Take a warm bath.
Try to eat.
Use relaxation techniques (if you know any).
Don’t worry about training contractions. They are benign and are part of a healthy pregnancy.