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Braxton Hicks Contraction or False Labor

Discussions on "Braxton Hicks Contraction or False Labor" in "Labor & Delivery" forum.

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    nlakshmi's Avatar
    nlakshmi is offline Minister's of Penmai
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    May 2011
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    Braxton Hicks Contraction or False Labor

    The following information will help you determine when you are having “the real thing” or Braxton Hicks contractions.

    What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

    Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, however they are most common in the third trimester. The muscles of your uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds or as long as 2 minutes. Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they will prepare you for the real thing and you can practice the breathing exercises you are learning in your childbirth classes.
    Braxton Hicks are described as:
    • Irregular in intensity
    • Infrequent
    • Unpredictable
    • Non-rhythmic
    • More uncomfortable than painful (although for some women braxton hicks may feel painful)
    • They do not increase in intensity, or frequency
    • They taper off and then disappear altogether
    If your contractions are easing up in any way, they are most likely Braxton Hicks.

    What causes Braxton Hicks contractions?

    There are a few speculations for why women have these contractions. Some physicians and midwives think they may play a part in toning the uterine muscle and promoting the flow of blood to the placenta. They are not believed to have any connection with dilating the cervix, but may have some effect on the softening of the cervix. However, as Braxton Hicks contractions become more intense closer to the time of delivery, the contractions are considered false labor, which can help in the dilation and effacement process.

    What triggers Braxton Hicks contractions?

    The following are triggers of Braxton Hicks:
    • When you or the baby are very active
    • If someone touches your belly
    • When your bladder is full
    • After sex
    • Dehydration
    What can I do to alleviate Braxton Hicks contractions?

    • Change positions; lie down if you have been standing or go for a walk if you have been sitting or laying
    • Take a warm bath for 30 minutes or less
    • Drink a couple of glasses of water, because contractions may be brought on by dehydration
    • Drink a warm cup of herbal tea or milk
    If doing any of these does not alleviate your contractions, you should contact your health care provider.


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    Last edited by Parasakthi; 22nd Oct 2011 at 09:15 AM. Reason: links are removed



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