I've been feeling braxton hicks for a few weeks but definitely nothing regular, I'll notice one or two a day. Today I walked to the park with my kids and when I got home I was having contractions but they went away with rest and hydration. I was very relieved, preterm labor is nothing to screw around with! Starr I am glad you went in to be checked out and now know to be very attentive to those cramps. I hope your baby stays put for quite a while yet!
"Regular" braxton hicks at 26 weeks - Page 2
I have a question about bh contractions. I've been getting them for the past 4 weeks or so. I'm 27 weeks right now. They've gotten more regular and intense in the past 2 weeks and usually start regularly in the evenings around 5-6pm. I work evenings in a lab, so it seems like I start to get them after about 3-4 hours of work. I walk/run around a lot at work, so when I start to get them, I'm not really able to walk much and not able to do my job as quickly and efficiently. Most days, I waddle and walk very slowly. I guess my question is, is this serious? I don't feel like I'll go into pre-term labor and I don't feel like I should be too worried, but my mom is freaking out a little bit. She wants me to go to the ER when I get them. They are super uncomfortable and really limit how much I can do at work and how quickly, but for whatever reason, I'm not too worried about them.
I try to stay hydrated-I drink between 50-90 oz of water and chamomile tea a day. Some days I don't drink as much because I have this awful, awful taste in my mouth, but I try not to drink less than 50 oz. Should I be worried? I've called the birth center where I plan on having my baby and they said that if there's no blood and no changes in my discharge then they wouldn't worry. They just asked me to stay super hydrated and said if I was worried, I should make an appointment with an OB at the adjacent hospital.
I'm not sure if I'm reacting properly because I'm just not that worried. I wish I didn't need to run around as much at work, but I can't really change that. Oh, and I live in the city, so I take public transportation. It takes me about 1.5-2 hours to get to work. Sometimes I have to run after the bus lol. Does that make a difference (running to catch the bus or train)? TIA everyone! I appreciate it :)
I get BH contractions regularly throughout the day as well. Sometimes they cluster into 4-8 in an hour... it seems to be associated with dehydration, too much activity, too little sleep and/or poking my belly too much! (I can get one going if I try to feel around for the baby, or if dh rubs my belly some days...) I've had to really watch my activity level because that definitely aggravates them... so for me it has been a matter of letting go of being so 'productive' and cutting back on physical work as much as possible.
My midwife was not worried because mine are not painful, regular, or showing any discharge. If I had any of those three symptoms (and when she meant pain she said 'severe pain' so I'm not sure quite what to make of that) I was to call... but so far none of those things are happening. Mine started around 24 weeks, and at 29 weeks they certainly haven't gone away, but have increased in intensity (first baby by the way, don't know if that makes a difference!) I seem to have what's called an 'irritable uterus'. I was given a tincture of crampbark which I take sparingly, but that seems to help if they really get going.
I don't think I have any advice for you whether or not you're worrying 'an appropriate amount' ;) If the birthing centre is not worried, that's certainly a vote in the not-worrying category (especially because I imagine they have a lot more detail available about your pregnancy and about what's actually happening!) I would get in touch with your care provider so they are aware if you haven't done that already... and to me if they are bothersome enough to have you adjusting your activity level, see if there are ways to do so in your life right now perhaps... (eg. could you fully sit down at work for 10-15 minutes if you've had a few really bothersome ones?) In any case I would try to find some really clear guidelines (probably from your care provider/birth centre about when to take more action, and then if your contractions fit that criteria (or if you just *have a bad feeling*) then you know that's the appropriate reaction.
I'm trying to see it as a bigger indication that at some point, my body is just going to *command* me to just *stop*, and working with making that adjustment little by little in my life. It has been really humbling knowing that at some point my whole life will come to a screeching halt, I'll go into labour for real and that's all that will matter.
In that sense the BH contractions are good 'practice' for me in more than just a physical way.
Sorry for rambling. I haven't slept much!
If the contractions are regular and more than 4-6 an hour, personally I would want to have my cervix checked to make sure they weren't affecting it. I have an irritable uterus and have been having regular bh contractions since 19 weeks. I had been getting regular checks and at 28 weeks my cervix was paper thin (after being fine 2 weeks prior). I'm now on modified bed rest and my cervix has lengthened (apparently my cervix is also "dynamic" meaning it can frequently change). I'm sensitive to this because my sister had a baby at 25 weeks with similar symptoms to what I was having. So pay attention to your body and get checked out if it doesn't feel right. Also, right before I found out my cervix had shortened significanty, I was having a ton of pelvic pressure. So that is something else to watch for. Can be normal, but can be an issue too. Not trying to scare you, but just follow your gut.
Thank you cedarwoman and waluso. cedarwoman, I'm actually comforted by the rambling :)
I feel like sometimes the bh are nothing to worry about and sometimes I get a little worried, especially when I get really stressed at work and have to do a lot of running. The past few days I've been feeling little jabs in my uterus so I will get checked. But I'm not too worried... I think this is practice for the real contractions too. But at my job, I'm expected to do a certain amount of work, so if I'm overworking myself and causing my body harm, I'd like to know so I can maybe request less rigorous work.
Again thank you ladies so much for your advice :). It's really comforting to know I can come here and listen to other women's experiences.
Winniepam - Could you try slowing down your workload for a couple of days as an experiment to see if that makes a difference?
I was at the midwife's on Friday and she was poking around with the fetoscope looking for the heartbeat so my husband could hear it. Then she stopped and said: "She's having a contraction, I can't hear anything right now." She seemed super calm about it, like it was the most matter-of-fact thing (meanwhile, my husband almost pulled out the stopwatch to start timing them, hahaha). So I guess if midwives are not worried about it, and it's not severe pain (like someone said) then it should be ok. I get them now every night, about 3-4 in one hour but I just tell myself to breathe and relax and they go away. Good practice, if you ask me. :)
Braxton Hicks contractions are totally normal, but everyone should be aware of the signs of preterm labor as well. Since I'm currently in the hospital because of preterm labor, I am getting very familiar with them and the contractions can be totally painless. Even painless contractions can be a sign to sit down and get off your feet, drink some water and relax. Listen to your body and if you have a bad feeling, get checked. Here's a list of preterm labor symptoms from the March of Dimes website.
Warning signs of preterm labor
- Contractions (your abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
- Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina)
- Pelvic pressure—the feeling that your baby is pushing down
- Low, dull backache
- Cramps that feel like your period
- Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
What should I do if I think I'm having preterm labor?
Call your health care provider (nurse, doctor or midwife) or go to the hospital right away if you think you're having preterm labor, or if you have any of the warning signs. Call even
if you have only one sign.
Your health care provider may tell you to:
- Come into the office or go to the hospital for a checkup.
- Stop what you're doing. Rest on your left side for one hour.
- Drink 2-3 glasses of water or juice (not coffee or soda).
If the symptoms get worse or do not go away after one hour, call your provider again or go to the hospital. If the symptoms get better, relax for the rest of the day.
I'm at least comforted by the idea that supposedly if things calm down after an hour, you're fine (except maybe to rest and drink more water)... from what I understand from that list anyways. I have had bouts of intense contractions much closer together than 10 minutes, but not lasting as long as an hour and no other signs of preterm labour. I've got a midwives appt today so I'll post up later about what they think...
I didn't mean to scare anyone, just that everyone should be aware and listen to their body. If you are having lots of pressure and contractions, my doctor was advising me to lay on my left side and drink water for an hour. It had been going away every time I did that so I think it's good advice. When it didn't go away we did go to the hospital and I have been in here on medication, bedrest etc. due to my cervix dilating and effacing and continuing contractions. One thing that I've learned since having preterm labor in my last two pregnancies is that if you catch things early, they can stop or slow things down and try to get extra time for the baby. So it's not good to ignore signs since there are things that can be done. I'm at high risk since I've had symptoms and previous preterm labor but for most women, getting off their feet for a short time will take care of those symptoms and there's no need to panic. But, you don't want to sit around and wait for things to get really painful if there really is a problem so the guidelines are pretty helpful, expecially with the stakes so high.
Absolutely! Midwives echoed that at my appt today... but otherwise said not to worry about it. I certainly seem to have an 'irritable uterus' (even DH rubbing my belly can make it contract!)
I hope all that practice is good for something ;)