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how to stop braxton hicks/irritable uterus

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I'm 33 weeks pregnant and at least 10 times every day I get awful pains in my uterus, mostly the lower half. It hurts bad enough that I can barely walk. The worst of it lasts for 30 seconds and then starts to un-clench. It started around 20 weeks but went away after a month and started again around 30 weeks. I am not dilated any. This is my third child, 5th pregnancy (2 miscarriages at 10 weeks).

 

I asked my OB about it and she laughed and told me to "suck it up and deal with it" (I'm not going back there). I tried to get a midwife  to use as a back-up for UC and to help answer question about these pains but no luck

 

If I knew this was completely normal I could relax, it just doesn't feel right. I drink tons of water and try to take it easy but is there anything else I can do? Will this lead to pre-term labor?

post #2 of 36

It COULD lead to pre-term labor, and my last full term pregnancy was full of BH from 34 weeks on, which I had mistaken for pre-term labor, just because of the intensity of them. It's too bad that you aren't getting any good help from people that are supposed to be professionals. Maybe drink some tea, take warm baths (I know that's hard to do, because of the heat, believe me). Since you're staying hydrated and trying to take it easy, I can't give you any other advice. Have you tried a belly support? Maybe the BH are triggered by round ligament stretching and a belly band would help.

post #3 of 36

I am on my third pregnancy (one was an early miscarriage).  I had a ton of BH with my first, but this pregnancy they started earlier and they hurt more.  Not alarmingly painful, and not as bad as yours, but definitely more painful than the first.  I am also only 23 weeks, so who knows what they'll feel like in a couple of months. It seems like everything has started sooner and is more extreme this time - round ligament pains, pubic bone pain, etc.  My midwives seem to think that's par for the course for subsequent babies. The only time I've felt at all concerned this pregnancy was a time when I had clearly overdone it and felt crampy, not like BH but more like very early labor. 

 

I have no idea about BH like yours leading to pre-term labor. With my first I was always told that 6 per hour is when you start to worry.  And of course things like regular spacing and increasing intensity.  One time last pregnancy I had 6 per hour, the phone nurse freaked and had me come right in.  (I wouldn't even have called except I was hoping they'd tell me not to travel to my ILs that weekend ;) They put me on the monitor thingy and I didn't have another one the whole time I was there.  Duh, I could have told you that without the stupid machine. 

 

How often do yours come? I would pay attention to that as much, if not more than, the intensity.

 

post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 

I'm staying away from the hospital until they become regular and 6 in an hour. I'm going to pay more attention to frequency and hope to chart when they happen. Maybe I can find something triggering them. 

post #5 of 36

Do you have a full bladder when you have them? I know that the constant hydration will make your bladder full. lol And the full bladder will make your uterus contract with braxton hicks. Could it be shoes you wear? Are they wedged? Are they flatsoled? It could be that you need steady support for your feet and it's hurting your back, thus causing BH.

post #6 of 36

Have you tried a good cal/mag/zinc supplement? It's suppose to stop early contractions and muscle cramping that are caused from a variety of issues. It may be just what you need IF IT'S NOT PRETERM LABOR! Because lots of women have preterm labor about this time and can be easily stopped with magnesium in the hospital. If you have no luck with the supplement (at least 3 per day) then go into the ER and have them do a fetal monitor to check contractions. It's better to be safe rather than sorry, especially at this point in time! That being said, I have always had luck with the supplement! I start taking them about 22 weeks on for leg cramps and more when I have hard contractions that I call irritable uterus! Hope this helps some!

post #7 of 36

I wouldn't be concerned about preterm labor if you're not having several an hour.  When I ended up in PTL, I was having around 8 contractions in an hour that wouldn't slow down despite majorly hydrating and laying on my left side.  Have you tried seriously hydrating and laying on your left side for an hour?  This typically stopped or slowed mine. 

post #8 of 36

You could also try a half glass of wine to stop them. And/or a relaxing bath. Both of them seem to help a lot of women.

post #9 of 36

3rd preg.  Having same issues.  BH super strong started months ago.  Had to bend over the cart in the grocery store parking lot and breathe w/ contraction.  They get better when I remember to drink red raspberry leaf tea.  I haven't had any tea for a few days and last night couldn't sleep because of the intensity low down.  Tonight (36 weeks) I nearly burst into tears in the yard from the pain of a BH super low down. 

Red rasp. leaf organizes the contractions and then they are less painful. 

post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 

I haven't noticed a full bladder triggering it. I wear flat shoes

thanks for the supplement advice. I'll get some today. I have been having charlie horses in my calf in the morning so many its related

I like the wine and bath idea, even if it doesn't stop my problem. haha

I planned to get red raspberry leaf tea this weeke3nd. I wasnt going to start drinking it until 36 weeks but can't hurt to start a little early

 

thank you all so much. I have a lot more ideas to try now. Yesterday I only had 5 (I've started counting) so I"m hopeful

post #11 of 36

DDCC.  I had 30-50 a day from the late 5th month on and they drove me 100% crazy.  I was teaching middle school and the time and kept having to grab desks so I wouldn't fall over.  My doctors did tell me to sit as much as possible, which isn't very possible when teaching the way I teach.  Some aspects of pregnancy are just kind of ridiculous.  My OB was very supportive and kind about it (nuts to your dr. who told you to suck it up...if there are no solutions, kindness and compassion are pretty helpful!).  In the end, I had a lovely, healthy baby.  Hang in there and much luck you you!  We joked that we should name our son Braxton.

post #12 of 36

I'm 32 weeks and had the same problem recently.  I have found a few things to help.  My midwife suggested a magnesium supplement called "Natural Calm."  That has worked wonders for me.  I take it daily, and if I forget, I'll have more cramps.  I also started drinking a ridiculous amount of water.  I thought I was drinking tons already, but my midwife pushed me to drink more, and that has also helped.  She also told me to cut extra sugar and salt from my diet which may have been counteracting my water intake (I admit, I had let myself get a little snack-happy).  Last, I'm trying to take it easy and stay out of the heat!  I told my husband I can't take my dogs for walks in 90 degree+ weather anymore, and that helped, too.  The strain seemed to bring on lots more contractions.

 

One warning on RRL tea which has been mentioned in the forums before - apparently, because this tea causes uterine "toning," it can make BH worse for some women.  I tried taking that first and found that I had a bit more cramping, not less.

 

I hope you feel better soon!

post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubymoon81 View Post

I'm 32 weeks and had the same problem recently.  I have found a few things to help.  My midwife suggested a magnesium supplement called "Natural Calm."  That has worked wonders for me. 

 

One warning on RRL tea which has been mentioned in the forums before - apparently, because this tea causes uterine "toning," it can make BH worse for some women.  I tried taking that first and found that I had a bit more cramping, not less.

 

I hope you feel better soon!



Not to thread-jack, but Rubymoon--how much Natural Calm do you take?  I have this for DS and was thinking of taking it to ease my BH.

 

Also, OP--Please note the bolded on RRL tea!  There is mixed info on this but RRL can cause a lot more contractions which can possibly push you into preterm labor.  If you are already having issues, I would NOT take it. 

 

post #14 of 36

There is exactly one resource out there to my knowledge which associates Red Raspeberry Leaf tea w/ preterm labor.  What To Expect When You Want To Be A Neurotic Wreck.  That piece of drek offers no references for that. 

Please provide a reference for any studies that show red rasp. leaf to increase preterm labor.

post #15 of 36

Don't forget to stretch your calves multiple times a day.  (Say any time you are near stairs or a curb.)  You may want to look at the Blog Katy Says by Katy Bowman and read up on the relationship between alignment, strong gluts and pelvic floor issues.  Are you also having urinary incontinence?

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheepdoc View Post

There is exactly one resource out there to my knowledge which associates Red Raspeberry Leaf tea w/ preterm labor.  What To Expect When You Want To Be A Neurotic Wreck.  That piece of drek offers no references for that. 

Please provide a reference for any studies that show red rasp. leaf to increase preterm labor.



Alternatively, please provide a reference for any study that shows that red raspberry leaf tea is SAFE for those who may be experiencing signs of preterm labor.

 

Because that is the true issue.  As I stated originally, the use of RRL tea is controversial at best.  I don't know if it is bad or good for those of us who have had PTL or signs of it.  I'd rather err on the side of caution with something rumored to increase contractions and put women into full blown labor who are at risk of PTL.  Most pregnant women choose to first do no harm, so if there isn't clear evidence that RRL is *safe* for those experiencing PTL symptoms, and there is evidence (or even rumors) that it is unsafe, I don't know why any person ewould be pushing it on anyone else. 

 

post #17 of 36

My midwife had me taking some herbal something when I was at work and having too many BH, but I don't recall what it was. When not at work she told me a dark beer or a shot of vodka. Oh and benadryl (not with the booze, as a separate possibility)

post #18 of 36

One other thing... Keep an eye out for symptoms of a UTI.  I've heard they are a common cause of pre-term labor, and that during pregnancy they don't always present in the usual way. 

post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by thencamehenry View Post

One other thing... Keep an eye out for symptoms of a UTI.  I've heard they are a common cause of pre-term labor, and that during pregnancy they don't always present in the usual way. 



THIS! I was going to mention something along these lines before, but had forgotten. A UTI (doesn't even have to show symptoms) can cause tons of BH and even pre-term labor. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had TONS of UTI's, but I never had presenting symptoms. Just back pain, which I attributed to being pregnant.

 

post #20 of 36


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post


Not to thread-jack, but Rubymoon--how much Natural Calm do you take?  I have this for DS and was thinking of taking it to ease my BH.

 

Also, OP--Please note the bolded on RRL tea!  There is mixed info on this but RRL can cause a lot more contractions which can possibly push you into preterm labor.  If you are already having issues, I would NOT take it. 

 


For the Natural Calm, I worked up from 1/2 teaspoon a day, to 1 tsp, to 1.5 tsp. over the first 3 weeks.  1.5 tsp. seems to be enough.  They say to work up to 2 tsp., but I think the appropriate amount varies from person to person.  Too much will give a laxative effect. 

 

Sorry to inflame the RRL debate, but I just wanted to share my experience.  It gave me more BH.  It seems like if your uterus is not tight & crampy, it would be good for those who want toning.  But if your uterus is "toning" itself like an overachiever, I wouldn't give it any more encouragement! 

 

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