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Contractions at 23 weeks

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi there!

My boyfriend and I just got home from our first prenatal class. It was good - although I've done so much reading that I really didn't hear anything new!

The instructor was talking about Braxton Hicks contractions, and asked if any of us had felt them yet. Only a couple women raised their hands, including myself. The others that raised their hands would have been well into their 3rd trimester. The instructor ended up speaking with just me (while everyone else sat and listened), and seemed concerned about the fact that I am having fairly regular contractions already (at least once or twice a day that I notice). She asked if I stand a lot at work, and I said yes (all day!), and she said I should definitely talk to my doctor about it, and that I may need to take a break from work or work less.

Thing is, I have spoken to my Dr. about standing at work as well as having the contractions, and she isn't concerned at all. Her only comment was "well it's a bit early for that!" She just said that the amount I stand is only going to affect me, but will not harm baby in any way.

In all of the books I've read, as well as what the instructor was saying tonight, it seems that I should be more concerned. What do you all think? I want to trust what my Dr. tells me, but it's tough when everything else conflicts with what she says! Is there need to worry about this?

post #2 of 14
As far as I know, contractions happen all the time and are only a concern if they happen regularly, as in more than 4 in an hour.
post #3 of 14
I have contractions quite frequently also and am 22 weeks. I spoke to my Dr and wa told not to wrry unless I have more then 6 per hour. I tend to notice them if I am out walking, at water aerobics, or occasionally walking up the steps. I don't like them, but I really don't stress them to much either....I figure I will know if they change and become alarming.
post #4 of 14
I'm having BH contractions too - been having them since I was about 15 weeks. I asked my midwife about them and she said that if they became regular, to stop whatever I was doing, drink water and wait about an hour. Time the contractions and if they continued after doing all of that, to give her a call. Yesterday I had contractions about 10 minutes apart for about an hour. Sure enough, after drinking and lying down for about an hour, they were gone.

You might want to ask your dr what his/her protocol is on contractions just for your comfort. But one or two BH contractions/day is really quite normal at this point!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses, I feel better knowing others are experiencing this!

The class last night totally freaked me out, since I was the only one that had started feeling BH contractions so early, and the instructor (who is a nurse) seemed genuinely concerned!

There is so much conflicting information out there. In one of my books, it says with the amount I stand and lift at work, that I should be finishing work within the next few weeks! My Doctor says it's basically up to me and how I'm feeling - stop when it gets too hard or uncomfortable, but that the baby is in no danger if I keep going.

It's difficult to know what to take seriously. (Although I will usually take my doc's word over an old book's!)

post #6 of 14
With my first PG, I started getting them around 18 weeks. I couldn't figure out what they were and my doc didn't think I could possibly be getting BH so early. I had a lot throughout the pregnancy. With this one, I also have a lot, and I've just realized that this is how my body operates--my uterus likes to get in a lot of practice before the main event! There is a big qualitative difference between BH and real contractions--you'll feel when/if they get to be "real"
post #7 of 14
This is my 3rd pregnancy and although I never really felt BH with the first two, I started feeling them this time at about 17 weeks. My doctor was not concerned and said only to worry if I had more than 4 in an hour...and I do have a history of pre-term labor, so if your dr isn't concerned, I wouldn't worry too much.
post #8 of 14
I'm 25 weeks and I've been having them for a while now, when I am too active usually. From what I have read and what I understand is BHs are not at all unusual or abnormal from mid-pg on. I found this with a quick google search (it's from BabyCenter.com):

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?
Braxton Hicks are sporadic uterine contractions that actually start at about 6 weeks, although you won't be able to feel them that early. You probably won't start to notice them until sometime after midpregnancy, if you notice them at all (some women don't). They get their name from John Braxton Hicks, an English doctor who first described them in 1872.

As your pregnancy progresses, Braxton Hicks contractions tend to come somewhat more often, but until you get to your last few weeks, they should remain infrequent, irregular, and essentially painless. Sometimes, though, Braxton Hicks are hard to distinguish from early signs of preterm labor. Play it safe and don't try to make the diagnosis yourself. If you haven't hit 37 weeks yet and you're having four or more contractions in an hour, or have any other signs of preterm labor, call your caregiver immediately.

By the time you're within a couple of weeks of your due date, these contractions may get more intense and more frequent, and cause some discomfort. Unlike the earlier painless and sporadic Braxton Hicks contractions that caused no obvious cervical change, these may help your cervix "ripen": gradually soften and efface, and maybe even begin to dilate a bit. This period is sometimes referred to as "pre-labor."

And here's another short article about it:
post #9 of 14
Yeah, I've been feeling these for a long time now, almost since about the 10th week. I was a little concerned at first because it seemed so early but they haven't amounted to anything special so now I don't worry about it. They are getting stronger though, I hope that means when this one decides to head out it all goes quickly!
post #10 of 14
I think some people are just more sensitive to them than others. I don't remember feeling them at all with my first dd. This time, I think I've been feeling them for a couple of weeks. I'll feel a bit crampy, and my abdomen will feel as hard as a rock. I haven't seen my midwife since I've started feeling this, but I was assuming they were Braxton Hicks.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I gave my Dr. a call this morning, since that is what the instructor suggested I do. Doc had me come in just to check things over. Of course everything is fine. I've grown 2cm since my last appt, just two weeks ago! Baby was kicking like crazy while she was trying to find the heartbeat, it was quite funny. She actually said that a very active baby may be the cause...it's the response my uterus has to all the jabs!

I asked her at what point SHOULD I be concerned, and she said that it isn't how often I get the contractions that I really need to pay attention to, rather the intensity of them. If they start to hurt, I'm to call her.

So, I feel better!

post #12 of 14
[QUOTE=winnie]She actually said that a very active baby may be the cause...it's the response my uterus has to all the jabs!


Yup, that makes tons of sense, considering how active DS was especially! He'd use the uterus as a punching bag, and it would squeeze back as if to say, keep it down in there!
post #13 of 14
With this pregnancy I'm not really worried at all however 2 pregnancies ago with lexi I was working retail. I started mentioning regular braxton hicks ctx at about 20 weeks by 27 weeks i could time them and there was a pattern to them they were stronger in the early am hours (ok it was retail so between 10-11) again around 4pm and some nights it was all I could do to close the store up myself. By 30 weeks I was sitting down at work as much as I could but it didnt really help much at all. Lexi was born at 33.5 weeks. She was healthy and almost 6 lbs but I really think working retail was what lead to her being born so early.

On the flip side the last pregnancy I was really worried about another early baby I started having regular contractions again around 27 weeks (i was a SAHM this time around) so modified bed rest it was yeah right we had way too much stuff going on and a 4 yo to chase. Jack was born 2 days shy of his EDD with a little help from pitocin.

FWIW i have never had very intense contractions. I have my hospital records from jack's birth where they thought I was faking it for the longest time because I never had a single contraction register on the monitor the 2 times i was in early 34 and 36 weeks or in labor even after the pitocin so becareful with that advise as well.

GoOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!
post #14 of 14
Yes, I also wanted to say that I don't totally agree with your doctor's advice about not paying any attention to frequency of contractions, only to be concerned when they are intense and hurt... With my second labor I was crampy all morning after my regular appt with my midwife (where she swept my membranes). By afternoon I noticed I was having some fairly frequent contractions, but they were painless, just tightening and still very slightly crampy. I was too busy with my 2 year old to even try to time them - and when I finally did I realized they were coming every 3-5 minutes very regularly! By the time they started to hurt, I was at the birth center and 6-7 cm dilated.

So, real labor contractions CAN be painless and regular.

If you are having contractions, one way I have always heard to help distinguish BH from the real thing is to stop whatever activity you are doing and lay down to rest a while. If they space out or stop, it's most likely not real labor. If they do not stop and are happening regularly, you should call your doc/midwife even if they aren't painful.

I get pretty strong BHs when I exert myself, but I only a couple because if I sit down and rest they stop. I have also gotten them when I am trying to feel the baby's position (guess poking around stimulates my uterus!), and when I have an orgasm (which isn't very often, LOL!).
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