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Braxton Hicks!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I often wondered about these "Braxton Hicks" contractions and have read all kinds of reports from mommas online.  Now that I've finally discovered them first-hand last week, they are here to stay!  At first I thought "hey these are pretty cool", but then as a first timer, other concerns start creeping in:  are they too frequent / too strong / when should I worry, etc.....


So far for me (and this is just my second week in with them) the usual things I've read about will bring them on (changing positions, going to bathroom, needing more water) but then I also get them from walking, climbing stairs or even while just laying/sitting still.  Sometimes I get many in a row, or for a long period of time.


I have a doctor's checkup tomorrow and I'm sure he'll give me more info on this....  I'm just curious to hear what you are all experiencing!


post #2 of 12

I've been getting them for quite a while, but usually its if I feel my belly, my uterus is super hard.  Every once and a while I will be able to feel the tightening of it, usually when I change positions and notice a sharp, not quite painful, feeling.  Then I feel my belly with my hand and its almost always hard. Lately I have been noticing it more when I'm leaning forward. 


That wasn't very clear, but I'm not sure how to explain it better. 


I'm curious to hear what your doctor says is "normal"

post #3 of 12

I hate them SO much. Seriously, out of all the things that make me uncomfortable during pregnancy, BH contractions seriously make me want to crawl up a wall. 

I think its because I had a lot of false labor with my son and it brings back all the old anxieties and worries and purposely buried memories of a 30 hour labor from hell. :( 

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm not feeling any pain with them, but am also uneasy about the idea of pre-term or false labor, and knowing the difference.  25 weeks is too early for me to not worry about possible labor.  And given that I'm completely alone while DH travels frequently and have no one nearby for extra support if needed - well, I suddenly like being alone that much less now....  

post #5 of 12

Chotchkes, I'm sorry you hate them.


My uterus doesnt really get hard.  Sometimes the baby will press up against me, and if I feel my stomach I can feel the hardness of the baby.  Anyone know what I mean?  Well that is what the BH feel like to me, only without any hardness from the baby.  Slightly uncomfortable but for the most part not bad.  Another thing I feel is kind of a tightness in my chest/throat. Hard to explain.  Not with every BH either, just sometimes.


Occasionally I'll get a cramp with one.  Like a menstrual cramp.  That's more liek what real labor feels like....sort of.  Really it's all so different and hard to explain.  Even from birth to birth, much less woman to woman.


I dont worry too much about contractions until I see other signs of labor.  A lot of women will have tons of prodromal labor.  It's the labor on the TV shows where the women go to the hospital but get sent home because it's not doing anythign yet.  It basically feels like real labor, may have real labor patterns, may hurt, etc etc, but it's not moving the cervix.  You can have a month of that.  But when real labor starts there are real signs.  AGAIN, every single woman is different.  And every single pregnancy is different.


If you are ever worried about preterm labor, just take a walk, drink some water, take a nap, take a hot bath.  Any of those things will not stop preterm labor but will stop BH.  If it's prodromal labor, those things wont help either.  But you'll know the difference, probably. LOL

This is a nice website about natural birht.  I love her signs of labor checklist and agree wholeheartedly.  But remember, LOL, everyone is different. http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/signs-of-labor.html

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

intime - how interesting that you feel it in your chest/throat sometimes, I've never heard of that!  And thanks for the link, I found it to be very helpful (and the whole site overall)....


Well my doctor (and doula) also reassured me that everyone's symptoms are different and that in my case I should'nt be concerned that walking or stairs brings them on (as opposed to being alleviated by walking).  I'm not really in any discomfort, just have a little pressure on my cervix sometimes - which doc also said was OK.  He just told me to be concerned if there's any bleeding or heavy discharge/fluids leaking, or if intensity/pain increases.  But he couldn't exactly tell me how to prevent that from happening, just said "don't worry til it happens"....I left my appt. feeling quite dissatisfied w/that answer, since I have partial placenta previa and heard that dilation can be a dangerous scenario.  But, I felt rushed through the visit after asking so many other questions and 'taking up his time'....  :|



post #7 of 12

I started get them about 2 weeks ago and panicked a bit feeling when I had a bunch in a row all in less then an hour but after drinking some water and laying down they went away pretty quickly and I realized I had been working long hours and not drinking enough that day with a lot of standing mixed in. I dont hate them but I do worry about preterm labor, esp with it being twins in there..

post #8 of 12

New Mum Joy, are you on bedrest for the previa?  Did they find that in a sono?  Sorry, just curious and know next to nothing about it.

post #9 of 12

After 3 pregnancies I still don't know what a BH contraction feels like.  It's funny because I have no idea whether I get them or not.  I do exercise regularly and drink 14-16 glasses of water, so maybe that's why I don't notice them?  I don't know.  I was getting what I thought might be BH, but I think it's baby rolling around in there.


I don't know.


On the Previa note, I had a complete previa at 13 weeks 5 days (placenta totally covers the cervix).  I found out cause I had a bleed.  I sneezed and out came bright red blood.  I spotted brown blood for about 2 weeks after then nothing after.  At 24 weeks, the placenta had migrated to 3 cm away from the cervical opening.  No more previa - not more worries about my homebirth.

post #10 of 12

lisa  I have some friends who have never had them either...  I don't really know much about them in terms of their 'usefulness', maybe its like stretch marks- some women get them, others don't but it doesn't effect the pregnancy overall..? I dont know :)

post #11 of 12

I've had friends who never had a Braxton-Hicks as well. I'm not really sure if I'm getting them or not - if what I'm feeling is just another baby kick in, like, four or more places at once (both hands both feet and head?) or if it's a contraction.


NewMumJoy - I'm sorry you felt rushed by your doctor. I hate that feeling! I never get it with a midwife.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Lisa - SO glad to hear that your previa has cleared, that's wonderful!


As for me, they found the previa during my anatomy scan at 18 wks, and it's just partial.   I've had no bleeding fortunately, but was warned about the dangers of dilating and told "no sex" (booooo) until my follow up scan at 28 wks (which is in just a couple more weeks, I cannot wait!).  I'm pretty hopeful that it will have moved up by then....


I seem to be getting a bit more used to the BH hicks now, and have also been assured that they are healthy "practice contractions" to get my uterus in shape for actual labor.  I was a bit more active than usual this weekend and did not seem to notice them increasing in strength or frequency as a result.  Perhaps because my DH is back home I'm able to relax a bit more about all the new squeezes and sensations that I'm feeling inside.....

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