Friday, March 21, 2014

Braxton Hicks Or The Real Deal

During pregnancy your body is doing so many things to prepare you for labor.  You made have heard of something called Braxton Hicks which is a big way for your body to prepare for labor.  A question among so many expecting women is, “What is the difference between Braxton Hicks and the real thing?”

Braxton Hicks contractions are “practice contractions” that you may be feeling during your third trimester.  Some women experience them as early as the second trimester.  Braxton Hicks are a tightening of the uterus that can last anywhere from 30 second to 2 minutes.  They are inconsistent and unpredictable.  There are a number of things that will cause Braxton Hicks contractions to happen.

What Braxton Hicks feels like:
  • Tightening of the uterus
  • Inconsistent
  • Unpredictable
  • Uncomfortable

Causes of Braxton Hicks:
  • An active baby
  • An active mommy
  • Touching the bump
  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Dehydration

How to relieve Braxton Hicks:
  • Drink some water - stay hydrated
  • Change your position
  • Lie on your opposite side
  • Go for a walk
  • Take a warm bath

Real contractions are consistent and will gain intensity as time goes by and being to get closer together.  They come in intervals that will last from 30 seconds to about a 1 minute.  Nothing will relieve real contractions, position changes, drinking water, none of the tricks will help.  Real contractions are a bit more painful than Braxton Hicks contractions.  They may be in your back as well as your abdomen.

When to call your doctor or midwife:
  • You have contractions every 5 minutes consistently for 1 hour
  • Increased pressure in your pelvis or vagina
  • Contraction strength is immense (unable to walk or talk through them)
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Fluid leak
  • Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
If you are experiencing the above, you are most likely in real labor!

If you find that something is going on and you are unsure, call your doctor or midwife!  They can tell you if you are experiencing a false alarm or if you need to proceed to the hospital.

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