Do braxton hicks contractions always make your entire uterus hard?? I keep having this stretching sensation, but it's localized to the area that the baby hangs out in. The top of my uterus still feels normal, as opposed to times when I *know* that I am having a BH contraction and even the top feels tight. I think that it's the baby stretching out, but it's been happening for quite a few weeks, and I wouldn't think that she is strong enough to put that much pressure on me yet...or at least for as long as I've been feeling it. I'm almost 21 weeks in now. I'm also concerned about how uncomfortable this is going to get if it is just her stretching...what happens when she does get bigger and stronger....I really lucked out with an easy (and relatively comfortable) pregnancy with DS, so this discomfort is all new to me!!!
baby stretching or braxton hicks?
That totally makes sense - I can cup my hand around my belly - it almost looks angular. Interesting! I'm a little relieved that she's not a hercules baby :)
Some women (myself included) feel them beginning in the first trimester! They are happening from the start, but most won't feel them until later on.
I remember with my first pregnancy, I would get that feeling and I would just think "oh he's sticking his butt out" because it made my belly go to one side, it would be uncomfortable and last about a minute. Then after actually going through labour, I was like, I think those were BH, not just baby pushing his bum out. I had a lot of BH with my first and didn't even know it at the time! Haha.
OMG, now that you say it that way, I guess I DID feel them with DS as well - not until much later on though, and that's why I assumed it was just him moving :)
Sageowl - I have been able to feel the braxton hicks since very early on, definitely first trimester. I'm betting that the position of the baby in utero is affecting how they can feel differently (i.e. the all around tightening, vs the feeling of baby pushing out). In general this baby has been much more aggressive/mobile than my first was, and I wonder if it has something to do with the position of my uterus/placenta/personality of this baby that is different from my son. Also I am a SAHM now so I have more time to be tuned into things :)
I have also felt them as pretty "localized" depending on where baby's position is. Even now (38 weeks) with them pretty strong I feel more pressure where baby's bum and knees are at.
In my first pregnancy I thought that all my braxton-hicks were baby movement. I kept telling my midwife I wasn't having any :p Finally she noticed my belly get hard at an appt. and told me "that's a Braxton-hicks" and I said "oh, I have those every day" LOL. I thought they were baby turning or doing weird stuff.
I find that if it feels like pushing outwards, it's baby. If it feels like it's molding around (like pp said), it's a Braxton-hicks.