Braxton Hicks Contractions | An Overview

Braxton Hicks ContractionsBraxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions faced by women during mid-pregnancy.

These contractions were first described by John Braxton Hicks in 1872. Many times women mistake these contractions with preterm labor symptoms.

With the progress of pregnancy, these contractions start to occur. Contractions start to become common and more intense when you are near to your due date.

Though these contractions leave no effect on the cervix and its dilation. These contractions give the feeling of squeezing of the uterus or groin.

These contractions are irregular in nature and sometimes may be painful too. There is no specific time for these contractions but they usually occur at night.

When Do Braxton Hicks Contractions Start:

Braxton Hicks contractions are the contraction which is similar to labor as one might get confuse them with labor. These contractions occur due to the contractions in the uterus.

Which occur at irregular intervals. In these contractions the muscles of uterus contracts for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Some Medical Association believes these contractions to be helpful in providing blood flow to the placenta. These contractions may occur at around 5 months of pregnancy or 7 weeks before labor.

These contractions may be powerful and persistent in nature. In some women, these contractions may start as early as 6 weeks gestation.

Many women might not feel these contractions as late as in the third trimester of pregnancy. These contractions are irregular, unrhythmic and unpredictable in nature.

Frequent Braxton Hicks:

Many times Braxton Hicks contractions alarm the women. They usually occur at 6th week of pregnancy.

Many times women face these contractions late in their pregnancy hence the frequency of these contractions increases.

These contractions are a type of practice contractions for your uterus, preparing it for labor. These contractions are normally not painful but if you observe these painful, feel free to contact a doctor.

Frequent Braxton Hicks contractions may vary from every 5 to 10 minutes. If these contractions are accompanied with low back pain then you might want to get yourself checked.

Braxton Hicks Second Trimester:

These contractions usually begin in the second trimester, at around 20 weeks, Braxton hicks the second trimester Though might come earlier ( with more intensity) in case you’ve been pregnant before.

Though, These contractions help in preparing your cervix for dilation and labor. They are irregular and sporadic in nature.

Though it is not necessary for all women to face these contractions. Some women might face them several times a day whereas some may not.

Though the frequency for these contractions varies about every 6 hours if you see very frequent contractions then they might be a sign of labor

Braxton Hicks Contractions Feel Like:

Braxton hicks contractions are the early contractions faced by women in their 6th week of pregnancy.

For some women, these contractions may feel like tightening in the abdomen that comes and goes.

Some women say these contractions are like mild menstrual cramps. These contractions may be disturbing and uncomfortable, but they are not going to cause labor or dilate the cervix.

They may help in doing so by preparing you for it.  These contractions usually occur at irregular intervals and closing together.

These contractions might occur by the second trimester or in the third trimester of your pregnancy.

As compared to true labor Braxton Hicks contractions are not very strong and intense.

Braxton Hicks Contractions Vs Real Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions may feel similar to real contraction but they are very different from it.

These contractions are mild and not as painful and intense as compared to real contractions. Real contractions are regular in nature and are intense.

Though the lower abdomen, uterus and groin area feels like being squeezed. Many women report the occurrence of Braxton Hicks contractions during exercising or while coetus.

These contractions do not get closer together whereas the real contractions get closer together.

Many women might not face Braxton Hicks contractions whereas real contractions are to be faced by every woman while in labor.

These contractions do not dilate the cervix whereas the purpose of real contractions is to dilate the cervix.


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