Contractions at 32 weeks, second time mom... normal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 08-17-2011, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know some Braxton Hicks contractions are normal (especially in pregnancies after the first) and not a cause for concern. But when do contractions become a cause for concern?

 

On Monday I had a couple random contractions (maybe 3 the entire day). No big deal. Yesterday I had way more (at least 1-2 every hour). They weren't painful, necessarily, but they were uncomfortable. A couple times I had to stop what I was doing and just sit down until it passed. I don't remember any super painful ones last night, but I'm guessing I was having them last night too because when I woke up this morning my stomach was so sore. So after I took ds to school this morning I just laid around for an hour to see what was happening. No contractions during that hour. So I decided to get up and work on painting in Sunburst's room (it's a border so it's not painting the whole room, but it's pretty labor intensive and has taken a lot of time). I only got about an hour to work on it and had 2 contractions during that time (one of which made me stop what I was doing and kneel down until it was over). I stopped painting, cleaned up and am resting now (with orders from dh to not touch another thing in the house but to just rest the whole day).

 

So how much of this is normal? Is this just something I need to get used to, having contractions once or twice an hour for the next 2 months? I don't remember this ever happening with my ds. I already had an appointment for tomorrow, so I'll of course ask the dr. But I wanted to get your thoughts first on whether this is normal or not. Is the dr going to want to monitor it tomorrow or is he more likely to say "it's normal, go home and do your normal activities"?


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#2 of 17 Old 08-17-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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Braxton Hicks are totally normal, but what is not normal is when they get into a pattern, because that can quickly progress into pre-term labor.  1-2 an hour isn't particularly alarming, and it sounds like you've also been pretty active (painting).  For the most part, they do sound like they are pretty uncoordinated.  My belly has been sore too, but it is hard to tell from what- lately when I've been getting a BH, the baby feels like it is pushing and stretching my belly so much that it really hurts.  BH are toning contractions that are getting your uterus ready, so it is normal and good that you're having them periodically during the night too (even if you don't know the frequency).  Often time babies are most active during the night while we're sleeping, and their movement can trigger BH. 

 

Generally though, if you get 4 contractions in an hour, I'd call your doctor to check in, because that can progress into a pattern of coordinated contractions.  If this happens, I'd also immediately drink 2 big glasses of water and lay down on your left side for 1-2 hours.  Again, the key thing is to ensure that contractions don't get into a regular pattern.

 

However... a few more questions to ask.  It seems possible that these are linked with your activity level, and come and go.  How is your hydration?  Do YOU think you get enough water?  You could try adding a few more glasses a day and seeing if that makes a difference- dehydration can actually trigger contractions that could progress into pre-term labor.  Do you feel like you're able to get as much rest as you'd like?  I'd personally encourage you to delegate what you can, because when else do you get to rest besides when you're pregnant?

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#3 of 17 Old 08-17-2011, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughts!

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Originally Posted by Amy May View Post


However... a few more questions to ask.  It seems possible that these are linked with your activity level, and come and go. 

 

Monday, when I first noticed them, was the day I started the painting. Yesterday (when I was feeling a lot) I did not do any of the painting and took it pretty easy (ran a few errands but nothing major). But I was up and about all day yesterday (running errands, not working or anything), not much time to sit and rest.

 

How is your hydration?  Do YOU think you get enough water?  You could try adding a few more glasses a day and seeing if that makes a difference- dehydration can actually trigger contractions that could progress into pre-term labor. 

 

Water is all that I drink (for the most part), and I drink it constantly. I do think I get enough, I keep a glass or bottle next to me at all times.

 

Do you feel like you're able to get as much rest as you'd like?  I'd personally encourage you to delegate what you can, because when else do you get to rest besides when you're pregnant?

 

DS started back at school last week, so I do feel like I'm getting a lot of rest now. I'm home alone all day so I can lazy about all day winky.gif  My dh is wonderfully supportive and helps out tremendously, even after working a full day and then some (he's gone usually from 7 or 8am until 5ish pm and then has work calls most nights from 8 or 9pm until 10 or 11pm). I do basic cleaning and cook dinner while he's gone, but I'm not really doing anything I would consider strenuous.


 

 


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#4 of 17 Old 08-17-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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Here's my experience with Braxton Hicks: I'm a first time mom at 31 weeks, and have had them since about 20 weeks. Sometimes I get 2-4 an hour, other times none all day. When I first told my doc she had me go in for monitoring for a couple hours to be safe (of course I didn't have any while there!) She said they seem to be fine and some women just get lots of them and that I would probably get them like this until birth. She also wanted to check my cervix at 30 weeks to have sort of a baseline (it was closed) but said I didn't have to have any more cervical checks unless I want them at future visits. The contractions are never in a pattern, just a few an hour an most.  I have gotten used to them. Things that seem to make me have more of them are not getting enough water, a full bladder, constipation and sex.

 

 

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#5 of 17 Old 08-17-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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I agree with what's been said already - drink tons of water, and definitely call dr right away if more than four an hour or any other pre-term labor signs (pelvic pressure, increased discharge, backache, loose bowels, etc)

 

That being said, I am also noticing an increase in intensity of my BH contractions. I am 30 weeks this week, and while I used to 'notice' when I had a BH, just the past week or so they now are strong enough to really command my attention when they occur. I have an appointment today and plan to mention it to doc, but I'm assuming it's normal.

 

HTH!

 

 


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#6 of 17 Old 08-17-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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Glad you posted this Steph! Like MN BabyDust, I'm pregnant with my first and have been having BH's since around 20 weeks (I'm 32 weeks now). Lately they have been getting more frequent and way more intense...like your experience, they are sometimes strong enough that I have to crouch down until they're over. I agree with everything AmyMay said, especially about getting enough rest. Again, like you, I'm pretty sure I'm getting enough water and I don't feel like the things I'm doing are that strenuous, but I've noticed that even being on my feet doing dishes and cooking for an hour is enough to trigger them...so maybe just make sure that you are taking plenty of breaks, even if you don't feel like you're working very hard. Also, I've noticed that if I make regular, fequent trips to the bathroom to pee -whether I feel like I need to or not- it helps reduce the number of contractions (I don't know if anyone else feels the same, but I weirdly haven't been able to tell that I need to pee until my bladder is super full and I have a contraction). 

 

As long as they are not regular and no more than 3 or 4 in an hour, I'm trying not to be worried and just hope that I'll end up with a super-toned uterus and an easier labor winky.gif


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#7 of 17 Old 08-17-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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FWIW, I'm a 1st timer also getting lots of contractions recently. They started 2 weeks ago at 30 weeks and for a while I was even getting at least 4 an hour, but when they were that frequent they wouldn't hurt and were completely irregular. I'd have half a dozen one hour, none the next.

 

I had an appt and mentioned it to my doc terrified she'd put me on bed rest since so many twin Moms end up on bed rest, but she was totally unconcerned. She basically said that it's the pattern and increasing frequency/intensity that are what to look out for.

 

Mine have been more painful now, but still irregular and often linked to activity. It gives a great opportunity to practice breathing techniques! 

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#8 of 17 Old 08-18-2011, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughts!! We saw the dr this morning and were basically told it's fine, call us if you have 5 or more in an hour, notice any sort of pattern, or just have your mama instinct saying something is wrong. Of course, the standard advice of drink lots of water and rest as much as possible still applies thumb.gif  I'm feeling a lot better about it and hoping it means that by the time I do go into labor, my body will be ready and it'll be an easy birth. LOL!


Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#9 of 17 Old 08-18-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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Steph - great news! We need these babies to bake a bit longer! I'll keep my fingers crossed that this is just your "pregame warmup" for your quick and easy delivery!

Question though - what do they feel like and how long do they last? I'll randomly get "tight" but it lasts for 5 minutes or so and then just goes away. I thought it was BH, but I think it lasts too long for that. It's the only time I waddle - my muscles feel too tight to walk normally.

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#10 of 17 Old 08-18-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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That tight belly is BH. They can vary. I have had some pretty strong ones, and also some where I just notice the belly is hard. Editing to add, ime they can last a little while. With DS I had an episode around 32 weeks where I was driving and got fairly strong BH every 10 minutes. I did not call anyone about it, and I'm sure I was fine, because he was born at 40 weeks on the nose. Of course, I was a twee bit concerned.


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#11 of 17 Old 08-18-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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I get BHs often too, especially when activity/stress level goes us. I do remember getting them a lot earlier with #2, and seem to have been practically getting them this whole darn pregnancy. I got them a lot with #1 towards the end, and at 38 weeks it did kind of seamlessly transition to early/pre-labor. But that felt really different! And then real labor- that was very different yet again.

 

(and on the topic... have any of you read "The Eyre Affair" or other Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde? There is a character in the books named Braxton Hicks. I started reading them at the end of my pregnancy with #2 and it was so perfect for me right then...)


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#12 of 17 Old 08-18-2011, 10:28 PM
 
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I don't get bh contractions. When I have contractions I am in labor but it usually is NOT a pattern (only 1 out of my 5 births was I able to time the contractions or even have any since of regularity).

This pg I started getting tight and feeling weird, slightly cramping like early contractions. Nothing regular and nothing I could time but since it wasn't normal for me I went in and was diagnosed with bacterial vagenosis and put on an antiobiotic and bed rest for 1 wk. Cleared it right up and have had nothing since. Keep a really close eye on it and compare it to your first pg. If you had bh then or if you had really regular contractions you could time during birth then it would be probably be fine to wait but if I waited until I had 5 in 1 hr I would have a baby in my hands.

I will second the lots of water lots of rest. If they slow down when you slow down that is a good sign. trust your mama instincts and don't worry about going in if it feels off. I am glad I did and i am usually very hands off medically speaking.


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#13 of 17 Old 08-19-2011, 07:52 AM
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I had very few BH with my first pregnancy, but am having plenty this time. Never regular, and they can always be attributed to something that makes sense (exertion, stress, dehydration.) When I stop exerting myself, calm down, drink something and put my feet up, the BH stop, too.

 

Glad to hear they calmed down for you, Steph!


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#14 of 17 Old 08-19-2011, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKChix0r View Post

Question though - what do they feel like and how long do they last? I'll randomly get "tight" but it lasts for 5 minutes or so and then just goes away. I thought it was BH, but I think it lasts too long for that. It's the only time I waddle - my muscles feel too tight to walk normally.


Rosemary is right- that tight feeling is BH. For me, some of them I only noticed because of the tight/hard feeling. With some of them, though, they were painful (well, not really pain.... lots and lots of pressure though).

 

With ds I didn't notice any of these BH contractions so this is totally new to me shrug.gif

 

And the funny thing we noticed- DS was home with me all summer and I never had any contractions while running around with him and going here and there and being active. He started back to school so I've been able to sit down more and NOW I've been getting contractions. LOL! Today he doesn't have school and I haven't had any contractions. Weird, huh?


Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#15 of 17 Old 08-20-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Steph, it's like your body thinks that when DS is around, you need to be available to take care of him and you can't go into labor. And once he is out of the house, your body feels comfortable practicing contractions. 


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#16 of 17 Old 08-22-2011, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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Steph, it's like your body thinks that when DS is around, you need to be available to take care of him and you can't go into labor. And once he is out of the house, your body feels comfortable practicing contractions. 



That is too funny. Makes me wonder when I'll actually go into labor. I've had dreams about it and in every single one, ds is at school when labor starts. Hmmmm..... weird.


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#17 of 17 Old 08-22-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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An update on my BH: They got really regular (4 minutes apart) over the weekend. They weren't really painful, but definitely contractions and tightening. Long story short, we went to the birthing center to have them monitored and everything is fine. They aren't dilating the cervix or anything. I guess some of us are just prone to them. My doula said to sit on hands and knees 3 times a day for 5 minutes and drink nettle tea to try to get the uterus to settle down a little. Just goes to show you that nothing is the same for any of us. The whole idea of calling the doctor if contractions are 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart for 1 hour thing is out the window for me now. I sure hope this is at least getting me in shape for labor. I just wanted to post in case any one else has the freak out session I had over the weekend!

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