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Braxton Hicks?!? Yowza!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Mummas!

So I'm 18.2 today and this morning had my first proper bout of Braxton Hicks!
And I feel so silly to admit... They were quite painful! I had to focus and breathe and move through them!!
But when I google BH they all say "non painful contractions"! Non painful my butt!!!
Anyone else getting them?? Finding them painful??
(lol I am such a birth junkie that getting them made me feel excited!)

Hope all is well with everyone smile.gif xxoo
post #2 of 24

I have been getting them for a few weeks but i sure wouldn't say they are painful....just a tightening where my whole uterus gets very hard for a bit (less that a minute) and then slowly relaxes. I would put them more in the category of annoying more than painful .(And just for the record Travelmumma, these are nothing like what contractions feel like...at least not for me)!

With my first I had no idea what the difference was between the two but everything I ever read said they did not come in a pattern. Well, when I was about 32 weeks with my first, DH and I had sex and I started having contractions every 5 minutes. I assumed they were BH and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning still having BH every 5 minutes BUT everyone had said BH don't come in a pattern....mine sure did. We ended up in L&D because OB's office said that shouldn't be happening. L&D hooked me up to monitors and said I was having contractions every 5 minutes but they did not appear to be causing dilation. They gave me a shot to stop the contractions and sent me home and said no more sex until 36 weeks. It happened again a couple weeks later and we went through the same routine all over again. By 36 weeks I was having BH-ish contractions every 5 minutes for hours every day. Everyone said that it couldn't be BH because they were in a pattern.

Well, the first time I had a real contraction I could tell you that without a doubt those others that I had been having for weeks  were DEFINITELY not the real thing. My real contractions were more like sharp, jabbing cramps in my lower belly right from the beginning.


So, I have no idea if that is just how my body does "pre-labor" because the same thing happened in the next pregnancy....contractions every 5 minutes for hours at a time for weeks before baby ever came. No one could ever tell me for sure that they were or weren't BH because I didn't fit the "norm" but it sure was my norm. headscratch.gif


I guess I only tell you this story to say that not everyone fits exactly what books/google say. I sure didn't. So, maybe your BH are just more uncomfortable than what most people experience????

post #3 of 24

Also just wanted to say that those BH-ish contractions ended up being my friend because both times I was pretty far dilated before I ever had one "real" contraction! orngbiggrin.gif

This could end up being a blessing. But, if they do get more uncomfortable you may want to call someone since this is your first and you don't know exactly how your body is going to adjust!

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
The way you describe real contractions is how my BH ones felt.
Sharp hard, took my breath away. Like a sharp quick cutting kind of pain... I honestly had to vocalize through it.
post #5 of 24

travelmumma, not to alarm you but if it were me, contractions that feel like that would be a red flag if there were more than a few of them in a day.  I would contact my care provider (although I know you don't have one to contact right now angry.gif) or go to the ER.


I think tropicana is right, though, that everybody's different.


For me, "BH" are not painful, although they can kind of take my breath away.  For me, when I get concerned is when at the peak of the tightening of my uterus I feel a sharp, poking kind of feeling very low, where my cervix is.  For me, that means that there is probably some cervical change going on, which I DO NOT want to have happening at 18 weeks.  I've had a couple of those so far, but only about once or twice in a day and then they go away.  I've also had several episodes of what I would call 'crampy' feelings low down near my pubic bone that have NOT been associated with tightening of my uterus.  I think both these sensations (for me) have happened because I was exhausted/stressed/and especially, dehydrated.  


So if I were your doula and you called me to ask about this I'd tell you to take a nap, drink lots of water/electrolytes (summer) or decaf tea (winter), and go to the ER if you're having more than one or two in an hour or a half an hour or so.

post #6 of 24

TravelMumma, is it possible you're having round ligament pain, not BH? The round ligament pain can be really sharp and painful, and usually doesn't last too long (although I've certainly had bouts where they last several hours).... You can tell the difference because with contractions your whole belly will get harder during the contraction, as opposed to the round ligament pain which is usually closer to the top of your pelvis (either on one side, both, or even in the middle). Also, make sure you are drinking plenty of water! I was having super sharp tummy pains and it turns out it was because it's very hot here and I'm not getting enough water. I know it's probably less hot where you are, but still something to think about....

post #7 of 24

Round Ligament pain is what I was wondering, too.  RL pain is, well, painful!  And feels like a rubber band tightening from either side of my pelvis and shooting up.  Often happens when I move too suddenly, stand up from a seated position, turn over at night.  Can stop me in my tracks, take my breath away, and all that.  But aren't contractions.  I think with your first it's hard to tell the difference, to be sure.


With this, my 5th pregnancy, I was feeling them from conception, on.  Seriously.


I've only been feeling BH for maybe a week this time, and they are not painful at all.  mostly get them when I'm tired or have done too much activity and I feel my uterus tighten for a minute and then relax, maybe a couple times.  No pain.

post #8 of 24

I agree with the other gals.  If they actually are contractions (of whatever sort) and are that painful - you should see someone about it.  But I have never had painful Braxton Hicks before - like everyone else says, your whole belly will tighten when they happen, and they can feel strong, but shouldn't be painful.  Round ligament pains can be quite painful though and are very common at this stage of the pregnancy. 

post #9 of 24

my bh are sometimes quite painful. especially with this pregnancy. been woken up at night a few times. for me, bh feel exactly like real contractions, just shorter and don't get closer together as time goes on. the rule of thumb is if you have more than 4 per hour you need to get checked out. but painful contractions that are random are not a problem. though, honestly, with dd i got bh every single night from 6 months on, and they were 15 minutes apart for a few hours each evening. never dilated me one bit. listen to your body and if anything else feels off then talk to your midwife or doc. but if you feel fine and just get painful bh it's not a big deal.

post #10 of 24

Are we supposed to be getting Braxton Hicks now?  I'm 20 weeks and haven't felt anything yet.  I do have what I think is round ligament pain - it's a steady cramp on one side that can last for several hours.

post #11 of 24

getting BH contractions this early is not something to expect but can happen. I haven't gotten any yet so far either, though I'm wondering when they will start. I had them with my second pregnancy from about 32 weeks on to almost 42 weeks. That was contractions every day, mostly non painful ones for over two months. I know it will happen again, and yeah, they are mostly annoying when they happen. 


I second everything everyone is saying about the round ligament pain. I've been getting that for a while now, and man, do they hurt! It's like a sharp, shooting pain that comes up from way down low. It only happens when I move to fast or sneeze. Those sneezes hurt!! 


But yeah, BH should not be hurting this early on, and if they are, you should totally go talk to your care provider. 

post #12 of 24
Originally Posted by purposefuldoula View Post

getting BH contractions this early is not something to expect but can happen. I haven't gotten any yet so far either, though I'm wondering when they will start. I had them with my second pregnancy from about 32 weeks on to almost 42 weeks. That was contractions every day, mostly non painful ones for over two months. I know it will happen again, and yeah, they are mostly annoying when they happen. 



Thanks!  So scary and exciting to think that I am halfway done and will be getting "practice" contractions soon... eeekk!

post #13 of 24

Hey travelmumma,

Nothing much to add that hasn't already been said. I agree with the previous posters who have said it is probably round ligament pain, but I just wanted to check on you and make sure you are doing well. Definitely play it safe if this pain is really hardening your belly or if there is a pattern.

When I was pregnant with DS, I experienced regular, frequent contractions for several hours a day for WEEKS before he was born. I think my OB and my doula called it prodormal labor. Ultimately, it was really hard to figure out that I was actually in labor FOR REAL the day DS was born.

I hope all is well today and that you are getting some rest!

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi Mummas,


Am still not too sure what to "diagnose" it as... I have had what I thought was RL pain, a pulling sharp jabbing pain, but the feelings from the other day were in a different area. They seemed to start at the top of my uterus and move down into my vagina...

I really don't know.

Since then I have been extra aware of my uterus. It has felt "more there" if that makes sense....

I don't know! If I had a midwife or a doc I would just call but having neither makes it so hard!

Urgh now Im worried!

post #15 of 24

i really would not worry unless you start to get other weird stuff going on. with my dd (first pregnancy) once my stomach muscles started to separate/let go at about 5 months i started to get crazy and sometimes quite painful braxton hicks, and also be very aware of my uterus. this time it happened about 4 months. unless you start feeling sick or like something is wrong, please don't stress yourself out. most emergency rooms have a nurse you can call if you want a medical opinion about whether to be concerned...though in my experience they always say "you should come in and get checked" no matter what, and then once there they say "oh it's normal". hugs to you. everything with a first pregnancy is such new territory and there is so much that can cause worry. try to relax. also, make sure you are getting TONS of water. being dehydrated at all can make bh more intense, and so can letting your bladder get too full. i had to pee so bad today and was out and couldn't, and started getting some wicked bh.

post #16 of 24

Definitely agree on the tons of water advice - I have a friend that the water made all the difference for in halting way too early and intense contractions.

post #17 of 24

I can't really add but would say like many here if that they continue to hurt, I'd get it checked out. What concerns me is that the pain travels down. I had two weeks of early contractions with my last pregnancy and they were not BHs because they hurt and were doing the moving downward thing. With BH, there was/is no pain...unless they combined with something like RL pain. And the sensation didn't travel. It was a tightening of my belly...like someone was pulling a belt tight. They did my breath away a few times.

I'm started to feel BHs last week (17 weeks) which is about the time I felt them with my fourth pregnancy. I didn't get them at all with my first two pregnancies!

post #18 of 24

 Maybe for some of us BH and early labor feel the same?   


 With my first baby, I had some kind of stomach pain from about five months on.  It would be a pattern all day one day, then off and on the next day.  Here, there, up, down, there was no difference unless I drank alot of (unbeknownst to be) caffinated coffee, then it got more intense but would stop when I laid down.  Even once I got into labor, the contractions didn't feel any different until I hit transition.   They told me to watch for longer, stronger, and closer together.  I swear, if my water hadn't broken, I would never have known when to start counting labor as started, because it had been the same feeling like that for months.   I am starting to feel the same thing again this time.  


Also, on the ER note: the only thing they can do for you at this stage is check your cervix and maybe tell you to rest more.  Here I think its 24 weeks before they'll actually give you anything or do any real checking up.

post #19 of 24

PS be encouraged that this does tend to indicate a shorter "real labor" for you.  Mine was 2 1/2 hours from water break to pushing stage, which I am praying ferverantly happens again.  I can handle the months of "what is that?" in exchange for less than a day of labor.  Totally worth it if that's your blessing!

post #20 of 24

Travelmumma, I wouldn't worry. Whenever I have gotten contractions, I always feel it is a sign to SLOW DOWN and take care of myself (or have someone else take care of me, even better!). ditto the water, a bit of bed-rest (a day, a couple of hours, whatever), a nap, some protein. I had 'pre-term labor' with DS1, it was very scary but like tropicana it wasn't actually doing anything. Probably the same for you, and I wouldn;t stress about it unless it happens again for an extended period. Could have easily just been your body doing some new stretching :)

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