Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular weak contractions of the uterus occurring during pregnancy. They usually begin can begin any time after 20 weeks and usually increase after 32 weeks. Remember, they are not forceful enough to push your baby out. In other words, your uterus is beginning to prepare for actual labor!
Drinking water, changing position, visualization and breathing may help reduce Braxton Hicks contractions. If contractions are increasing in intensity and frequency, even after using these techniques, you may be in real labor. Be sure to call your doctor, birthing facility and your doula, if you suspect that you may be in true labor.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
- Irregular and infrequent
- Can last from about 15 seconds to 2 minutes
- Subside with a position and hydration
- A, sometimes painless, hard or pointy shaped abdomen
Real Labor Contractions
- Regular and grow stronger, longer and closer together as labor gets closer
- Can last about 30 to 70 seconds each
- Do not ease with any changes
- May be accompanied by other labor signs such as bloody vaginal discharge, lower back pain and cramping.
Feel free to contact me for any further information, questions or thoughts!
Printable Version: Braxton Hicks Handout