What are Braxton Hicks contractions? | Video

Contractions already?

Don’t pack your bag yet.

Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that some women start to feel midpregnancy.

They are different from labor because they are irregular and usually don’t hurt.

How do you know if you’re in labor or experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions typically don’t get consistently longer, stronger, and closer together. Labor contractions do!

When are Braxton Hicks contractions likely to happen?

  • at night
  • when you’re dehydrated or have a full bladder
  • during physical activity
  • during sex

While Braxton Hicks contractions usually don’t hurt, they can be uncomfortable.

Get relief by:

  • changing your activity or position
  • drinking a couple glasses of water
  • doing relaxation exercises
  • breathing slowly and deeply

When should you call your healthcare provider?

If you haven’t reached 37 weeks – and your contractions are becoming more frequent, rhythmic, or painful – call right away or head to the hospital.

Past 37 weeks? You could be in labor!

In true labor, your contractions happen at regular intervals, last 30 to 90 seconds, get steadily stronger, and eventually come more often, no matter what you do.

If Braxton Hicks contractions are making you uncomfortable, try thinking of them as a warm-up for the big event!

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