Strength and frequency of braxton hicks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 08-27-2008, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another query!!!

I've heard that if more than four braxton hicks per hour should go to get checked out, but just wanted to find out some 'normals' from you ladies - especially mamas with baby number three plus - on how you noticed your braxton hicks change as pregnancy progressed???

I'm almost 27 weeks and this week has seen the babies movements increase *dramatically*, but also I'm getting 2/3 braxton hicks per day now that are very, very strong in intensity. The sort that you can feel into your cervix and have to sway to a little. It's mainly after hoovering or some activity on that scale. I get plenty of mild ones throughout the day, but not noteworthy as far as I can tell, just gentle womb workouts!

I'm so used to braxton hicks in pregnancy, but this time I'm more worried about catching anything that indicates PTL. I've laboured fast thus far, so obviously if things were to kick off early it's likely to escalate quickly, ( though not necessarily, of course).

In my last pregnancy I had weeks of very, very regular and strong braxton hicks from 32/33 weeks onwards, so in theory, even if they get more regular I've nothing to worry about, but I'm worrying

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#2 of 16 Old 08-27-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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I started having about 6 an hour or so about then (not consistantly) But I do remember a 14 hour period they were consistent- I thought that was a lot and actually had my cervix checked to assure me I was not in PTL. Drink a LOT because dehydration can aggrivate them and cause more. And if in doubt check it out- you dont want to miss the opportunity to have them stall labor if you truely are in labor...
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#3 of 16 Old 08-27-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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I had a lot of BH, all the time. The twins were my 4th pregnancy so I was pretty aware of the difference between normal BH and the 'time to sit, drink water' type of ones.

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#4 of 16 Old 08-27-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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The twins were my fourth pregnancy. I had no braxton hicks ever (in any of the pregnancies).

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#5 of 16 Old 08-27-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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I think around 33 weeks they were "bad" and then dissapated almost all the way. But I also took down my activity level A LOT after that. I think I've heard that vacuuming (hoovering) is really an incitor. Slow down, mama
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#6 of 16 Old 08-28-2008, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamaeliz View Post
I think I've heard that vacuuming (hoovering) is really an incitor. Slow down, mama
but my house is starting to look more tidy than it has in years. LOL. this is no small feat I tell you!!! but lest you think it means i'm vacuuming too much it is more to do with grouching at children to pick things up - i've got an excuse to ask them to vacuum too now !?!

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#7 of 16 Old 08-28-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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I'm 30 weeks now and I have some BH that I hardly notice. Occasionally I have contractions that I definately notice - hard to stand straight, have to remember to breathe, not painful though. I have been worried about PTL, but at an ultrasound 2 days ago, my cervical length was the same as it was at 18 weeks.

I was worried enough that I went to part time starting this week (I have a very sedentary desk job). I'm hoping this helps me avoid bed rest.

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#8 of 16 Old 08-28-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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My twins were only my second pregnacy but I had braxton hicks all the time...sometimes very intense. A lot of times it would be directly related to how physical I was, and how much water I drank.
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#9 of 16 Old 08-28-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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The twins were my first pregnancy, but since I did actually go into PTL, I figured I'd share my experience. I had very few B-H contractions up until I went into actual PTL at 27 weeks. In retrospect, I'd say I had maybe 3-4 total B-H prior to that. A couple while lying in bed, and one while getting out of the car at a restaurant. I never realized that they were even B-H - I thought they were the babies flipping around.

For me, there was no mistaking the onset of PTL. I realized I was feeling contractions, and realized they were coming pretty often, and when I timed them they were every 8 minutes for about 2 hours. Then they stopped. But when I went to the OB the next day (if they had not stopped in that 2 hour window, he would've met me at L&D but they did so he said come in tomorrow morning) I was already effacing and funneling and my cervix was less than 3 mm. I'm probably telling you more than your original question, but I'm mostly saying if you do have a period where the contractions become regular, even if they stop, please get checked out. If I hadn't gotten checked out, I probably would've had 27-weekers, but because I did, we managed to get to 29 weeks, which is a huge difference.

Good luck, and get someone else to vacuum!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#10 of 16 Old 08-29-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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Sounds like how mine were at that point. I had a few that caused such intense pressure that I had to stop, sway, and breath through them. Maybe they were real contractions? I couldn't be sure, so I stopped doing just about everything and slowed way down.

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#11 of 16 Old 08-29-2008, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
If I hadn't gotten checked out, I probably would've had 27-weekers, but because I did, we managed to get to 29 weeks, which is a huge difference.
How did you put it off? With meds or just rest?

Yesterday afternoon they really kicked off and were every 10 to 20 mins apart and more often when I got up and moved around. My husband actually came round and made the children tea and I have barely moved since then apart from to the bathroom and some basic stuff for children, (husband not living here).
Bless my eldest, he brought my computer up here this morning because he knows it will make me stay put more. LOL.

I even woke up to one painful contraction in the night, followed by a few others before I drifted off again. Have been taking aconite which seems to calm them down - I think my anxiety, ( and such dreams I'm having of babies in NICU and not expressing often enough etc etc!!!!!), about what I'd have to deal with has made them worse iykwim.

I'm hospital and drug phobic, plus who will have my children, who will be with me etc etc....aaaagh. See, I'm in a tizz.

They seem much, much slower and less intense this morning, but I feel like a timebomb. I also woke up this morning to find that a friend has gone into labour 3 months early with her singleton - am hoping somehow that my contractions were only me picking up on that. I almost called her yesterday out of the blue because she was very much on my mind. It's odd I was thinking of her iyswim, not a friend I'm in regular contact with, but they are still coming for me. I can't bear to think what she's going through either.

This is miserable

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#12 of 16 Old 08-29-2008, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MamaChicken View Post
I'm 30 weeks now and I have some BH that I hardly notice. Occasionally I have contractions that I definately notice - hard to stand straight, have to remember to breathe, not painful though. I have been worried about PTL, but at an ultrasound 2 days ago, my cervical length was the same as it was at 18 weeks.

I was worried enough that I went to part time starting this week (I have a very sedentary desk job). I'm hoping this helps me avoid bed rest.
MamaChicken, yay to the 30 weeks because you're into the safer bit. Hoping we get all the way

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#13 of 16 Old 09-04-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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With a singleton pregnancy, 4 per hour is a lot. With multiples, 3-4 an hour is normal! My doctors have told me that I need to stay under 6 contractions an hour, but they've also given me a list of other preterm labor signs that are just as important. Has your healthcare provider given you that?

As for how to keep them down, I believe lots of contractions is your body's way of telling you to drink more and sloooow down. When I've had a lot, I lie down for an hour and drink a few glasses of water. Not easy if you have other kids, but way better than being in the hospital or going into preterm labor!
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#14 of 16 Old 09-05-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shukr View Post
How did you put it off? With meds or just rest?

Yesterday afternoon they really kicked off and were every 10 to 20 mins apart and more often when I got up and moved around. My husband actually came round and made the children tea and I have barely moved since then apart from to the bathroom and some basic stuff for children, (husband not living here).
Bless my eldest, he brought my computer up here this morning because he knows it will make me stay put more. LOL.

I even woke up to one painful contraction in the night, followed by a few others before I drifted off again. Have been taking aconite which seems to calm them down - I think my anxiety, ( and such dreams I'm having of babies in NICU and not expressing often enough etc etc!!!!!), about what I'd have to deal with has made them worse iykwim.

I'm hospital and drug phobic, plus who will have my children, who will be with me etc etc....aaaagh. See, I'm in a tizz.

They seem much, much slower and less intense this morning, but I feel like a timebomb. I also woke up this morning to find that a friend has gone into labour 3 months early with her singleton - am hoping somehow that my contractions were only me picking up on that. I almost called her yesterday out of the blue because she was very much on my mind. It's odd I was thinking of her iyswim, not a friend I'm in regular contact with, but they are still coming for me. I can't bear to think what she's going through either.

This is miserable
How are you doing today? I hope the contractions have subsided and you can relax a little.

To answer your question about how we put it off 2 weeks, it was drugs and hospital bedrest, and luck I guess. Magnesium sulfate and indomethecin the first 5 or 6 days, then a terbutaline pump which my body ended up not tolerating (made me tachycardic - 156 is not an appropriate resting heart rate!), then nifedipine. Eventually I broke through that, had a crapload of contractions, back on magnesium, and somehow even though it slowed my contractions from 2 minutes to 15 minutes, I still dilated to 6cm so they took me off it and I had babies.

I will say that I don't think I was hospital phobic before this experience, but I definitely hated the idea of being in the hospital. I remember even thinking gee, I hope I have a vaginal birth and not a c-section, because I don't want to have to stay for 5 days. I worried about how I'd sleep in such a narrow bed, how I'd deal with the discomfort, possibly having a roommate, etc.

When it came down to it and I was in PTL, it was very clear to me that none of that mattered. Being in the hospital was the best chance for putting off my babies' arrival, so that's where I stayed. And the bed, the roommate, the bad food - yeah, none of it was great, but it just was the way it had to be. I'd have gladly stayed in that crappy expensive hotel another 6 weeks if I'd had the opportunity.

Hang in there and I'll think noncontractiony thoughts for you!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#15 of 16 Old 09-06-2008, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for asking - they calmed waay, way down the last few days to standard braxton hicks again. Each week seems to give me a new reference point of what is the new 'normal', but my friend actually gave birth at 27 weeks our due dates were one day apart. She has twins as well, but went to 38 weeks with them. Her baby is doing well and hopefully will continue to, but I'm hugging my belly and thanking God babies are still in there.

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When it came down to it and I was in PTL, it was very clear to me that none of that mattered. Being in the hospital was the best chance for putting off my babies' arrival, so that's where I stayed.
I hope I'll come to peace where this is necessary.
xx

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#16 of 16 Old 09-07-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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Thanks for asking - they calmed waay, way down the last few days to standard braxton hicks again. Each week seems to give me a new reference point of what is the new 'normal', but my friend actually gave birth at 27 weeks our due dates were one day apart. She has twins as well, but went to 38 weeks with them. Her baby is doing well and hopefully will continue to, but I'm hugging my belly and thanking God babies are still in there.



I hope I'll come to peace where this is necessary.
xx
And I hope it's never necessary.

I will be thinking good thoughts for your friend's baby. I know how you feel. When I was about 24 weeks, my online friend gave birth to her twins at 27 weeks. It freaked me right out.

Hang in there and keep gestating!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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