Braxton-Hicks contractions do not mean that a woman is going into labor. But if you are a first-time mother, you may not know the difference between the two. This is why some pregnant women become panicked if they feel contractions way before their due date as predicted by the ultrasound baby scan clinic. Although, these contractions can begin early in the second trimester. But they are most commonly experienced in the third trimester. The muscles of the uterus tighten for approximately a minute or two. These contractions are part of the natural process and do not cause any physical complications in the pregnancy.
Symptoms of Braxton Hicks contractions
- It is irregular in intensity where the first contraction can be intense and the next can be very moderate.
- They do not happen at regular intervals.
- It is very unpredictable and happens at a time when it’s impossible to have labor contraction.
- They are more uncomfortable rather than painful although for some women Braxton Hicks can be painful.
- They often decrease gradually in intensity or frequency.
- They taper off and then disappear altogether.
Causes of Braxton Hicks contractions
There are some possible causes of these contractions. Some doctors and midwives believe that they help in toning the uterine muscle and regulating the flow of blood to the placenta. They do not have a role in dilating the cervix but may have some impact on the softening of the cervix. There is usually some fetal activity before a Braxton Hicks, i.e, your baby can trigger a false contraction. However, Braxton Hicks contractions might intensify around the time of delivery. These contractions are often referred to as false labor. When this occurs, it helps in the dilation and effacement process.
Triggers of Braxton Hicks contractions
The following are triggers of Braxton Hicks:
- When the mother or the baby is very active.
- If someone touches the mother’s belly.
- When the bladder is full.
- If you don’t drink water for a long time, it can cause dehydration.
Treatment of Braxton Hicks contractions
- Change positions if you have in a certain for a long time. Lie down if you have been standing or go for a walk if you have been sitting for a long time.
- Take a warm bath or shower for 30 minutes or less.
- Drink a couple of glasses of water or any kind of beverage preferably tea which helps to hydrate.
If none of these steps work, you should contact your doctor, and the next time you visit the ultrasound baby scan clinic, let them know that you have been experiencing Braxton hicks contraction.