As a pregnant woman, you may have heard of the term Braxton Hicks contractions. They are known as “false labor” and can occur any time after the 20th week of pregnancy. But do Braxton Hicks feel different than real contractions? Let`s take a closer look.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic and irregular contractions of the uterus that can occur during pregnancy. They are named after the British doctor who first described them in 1872. Braxton Hicks contractions are usually painless and do not increase in intensity or frequency. They are also known as “practice contractions” because they are not true labor contractions.
When do Braxton Hicks contractions occur?
Braxton Hicks contractions can occur at any time during pregnancy, but they are more common in the third trimester. They can be triggered by dehydration, a full bladder, or excessive activity. Most women experience Braxton Hicks contractions in the evening or after a meal.
How do Braxton Hicks contractions feel?
Braxton Hicks contractions are often described as a tightening or hardening of the abdomen that lasts for 20 to 30 seconds. They can feel like menstrual cramps or a mild achiness in the lower abdomen. You may also feel a sensation of pressure or discomfort in your lower back.
Real contractions, also known as labor contractions, occur when the uterus tightens and relaxes in a regular pattern. Labor contractions are different from Braxton Hicks contractions because they increase in intensity and frequency. They also cause the cervix to dilate and efface, which is a sign that labor is progressing.
When do real contractions occur?
Real contractions occur when your body is preparing for labor. They usually start in the lower back and move to the front of the abdomen. Real contractions are usually regular, lasting between 30 and 70 seconds and occur at regular intervals.
How do real contractions feel?
Real contractions are often described as feeling like a menstrual cramp that intensifies over time. As labor progresses, the contractions become stronger, longer, and closer together. You may also feel pressure in your back and pelvis. Real contractions can be painful and exhausting.
Do Braxton Hicks contractions feel different than real contractions?
Yes, Braxton Hicks contractions feel different than real contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are usually painless, irregular, and do not increase in intensity or frequency. Real contractions, on the other hand, are painful, regular, and increase in intensity and frequency as labor progresses. If you`re unsure whether you`re experiencing Braxton Hicks or real contractions, talk to your healthcare provider.
In conclusion, Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions are two different types of uterine contractions that occur during pregnancy. Braxton Hicks contractions are often painless and irregular, while real contractions are painful, regular, and increase in intensity and frequency. If you`re unsure about what you`re experiencing, it`s always best to talk to your healthcare provider to ensure that you and your baby are safe.