Braxton hicks are false contractions which might make you feel like you are having actual labor contractions. These are basically uterus conditioning labor pains which start before actual labor and are a normal part of pregnancy. These contractions are not as strong as actual contractions and do not initiate labor. Braxton hicks generally occur during the third trimester and a lot of women confuse them with real contractions.
The following are the 7 ways to identify between Braxton Hicks and real contractions.
- The first way to identify between Braxton hicks and real contractions is that Braxton hicks are not very painful and do not occur at regular time intervals. While in the case of real contractions, contractions come at regular intervals and may last for about 30-70 seconds. True contractions can occur every 5 to 10 minutes or even less
- Braxton Hicks contractions are more inconsistent and are felt as a tightening in the abdomen which come and go in inconsistent patterns. On the other hand, real contractions are consistent.
- Real contractions are similar in intensity and pain to diarrhea cramps and menstrual cramps while in the case of Braxton Hicks, the pain is dull and cannot be compared to menstrual cramps.
- Real contractions cause a lot of discomfort in the area of the lower abdomen and exert pressure on the pelvis region. In the case of Braxton Hicks, this does not hold true. Infact, in Braxton Hicks, the contraction is felt in the front side of the pelvis or the abdomen.
- In the case of true contractions, the contractions can increase with walking and tend to last longer than the last one. But on the other hand, Braxton Hicks contractions do not occur this way. They tend to die off as you walk, change your position or lie down.
- Some other symptoms which are associated with true contractions are fluid leak, bleeding, flu like symptoms like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
- Braxton Hicks contractions do not intensify or increase in strength while on the other hand; true contractions steadily increase in strength.
What are the Causes of Braxton Hicks Contractions?
The following are some of the reasons why Braxton Hicks contractions may occur:
- Braxton Hicks may occur when you are dehydrated and go away when you rest and drink sufficient water.
- Another possible cause of Braxton Hicks is heavy physical work and strenuous exercising.
- If someone touches the belly of the mother, even in that case, Braxton Hicks contractions or false contractions are likely to occur.
- Another reason for Braxton Hicks contractions is having sex or experiencing an orgasm.
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