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Doctor insights on: Braxton Hicks Contractions

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Dr. Lynne Weixel
22 doctors shared insights

Braxton Hicks Contractions (Overview)

Braxton hicks contractions are "practice contractions". They are tightening of the uterine muscles for 1-2 minutes that are felt in the second and third trimester.


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What are braxton hicks contractions?

What are braxton hicks contractions?

Practice contraction: Braxton hicks contractions can happen at anytime during your pregnancy. They tend to be milder and more irregular than the contractions you get during labor. In general they are practice contractions that normally occur. If you have contractions more than 4 times in an hour and are preterm, you should call your doctor. ...Read more

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Dr. Lynne Weixel
22 doctors shared insights

Braxton Hicks Contractions (Overview)

Braxton hicks contractions are "practice contractions". They are tightening of the uterine muscles for 1-2 minutes that are felt in the second and third trimester.


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What do Braxton Hicks contractions feel like?

What do Braxton Hicks contractions feel like?

Cramping: Pregnant women experience braxton-hicks in many different ways. Most commonly they feel like menstrual cramps, tightening or hardening of the abdomen, pelvic pressure, and low back ache. ...Read more

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Does everyone get Braxton Hicks contractions?

Does everyone get Braxton Hicks contractions?

Probably: Probably yes, but some women feel these tightenings while others do not. If one does not feel them it is not abnormal. ...Read more

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How do I know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and preterm labor?

How do I know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and preterm labor?

Pain & frequency: True labor is generally painful, or at least associated with pelvic pressure and/or backache. True contractions come every 5-10 minutes, whereas false contractions of braxton-hicks come every 30 minutes. If in doubt, consult your obstetrician asap. ...Read more

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What does it mean if my Braxton Hicks Contractions are happening more often as in everyday and my I am having back pains and my belly is starting drop?

To be expected: It is very usual to have increasing Braxton hicks contractions as pregnancy progresses and you are closer to your due date. Remember to contact your obstetrician once your contractions become so strong your are breathing through them and they are occurring every 8-10minutes apart, if you have a gush of water or any bleeding. Of course contact your doctor sooner if you are less than 37 weeks. ...Read more

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How can I manage braxton-hicks contractions?

Abdominal support : By definition, braxton-hicks contractions are painless and do not lead to early labor. There is not much you can do to make them go away. Some people find an maternity abdominal binder helpful. ...Read more

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Help! could stress cause braxton hicks?

Yes: Stress and dehydration both can cause contractions. Try to relax and have a couple glasses of water. If it gets worse give your OB a call. ...Read more

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Do braxton hicks contractions make or help you dilate?

Do braxton hicks contractions make or help you dilate?

Braxton hicks : Some drs. Believe that braxton hicks play a part in toning the uterine muscle and promoting the flow of blood to the placenta. They're not thought to have a role in dilating the cervix, but might have some impact on the softening of the cervix. However, as braxton hicks contractions intensify nearer the time of delivery, they are called false labor and can minimally dilate and soften the cervix. ...Read more

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How many hours can braxton hicks contractions last? And are they painful ?

How many hours can braxton hicks contractions last? And are they painful ?

Varies but no pain: These contractions come in second or third trimester and are not painfull. They are infrequent, irregular and involve only mild cramping.How long they last is variable as there is no correct clinical pattern and are not real labour contractions. ...Read more

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When pregnant with twins, do frequent braxton hicks contractions 6-8 hrs, but with no cervical change, indicate that I am at increased risk for ptl ?

When pregnant with twins, do frequent braxton hicks contractions 6-8 hrs, but with no cervical change, indicate that I am at increased risk for ptl ?

Ptl risk: I wish we could better predict and treat ptl. By definition a 47 yo woman with twins is at risk for ptl. But intermittent contractions later in pregnancy >32 wks do not necessarily mean you will progress to labor, however if contraction become more frequent or painful, a return visit to your OB or perinatologist is in order. ...Read more

Contraction (Definition)

This usually has to do with the onset of labor. It is a muscular tightening of the uterus. Contractions are timed from beginning to end of hardening of the uterus (duration) and from beginning of one contraction until the beginning of the next (frequency). A third descriptor is intensity or how hard ...Read more