"Regular" braxton hicks at 26 weeks - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 10-03-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, last night for an hour or an hour and a half, I was having pretty regular braxton hicks contractions - sometimes as often as 3 to 5 minutes apart. It was a bit nervewracking, but I remembered that this happened to me last time as well - I looked in my pregnancy journal, and last time at 24 weeks, I had a day or so of on and off regular BHs. At the time, my MW recommended 1/2 glass of wine, lots of water, and a warm bath, and she said not to worry unless I was seeing blood or having back cramps or other abdominal pain along with the contractions. So, last night, I had a little bit of wine and a bunch of water, and *tried* to relax, but I was tired and decided not to take a bath, especially after they seemed to have stopped.

 

Fortunately, they stopped after a bit and I haven't had them like that since, but I was wondering if anyone else has had this happen? I looked in a couple of books and didn't see anything about this, but it seems that since this happened to me in both pregnancies so far it can't be too unusual - ? I know that BH are totally normal, but everywhere I read says that they should be irregular. Maybe my body was doing some stepped up practice for the real thing (way ahead of time?!) or maybe it's because I drink RRL tea?

 

Has anyone else experienced this?


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#2 of 31 Old 10-03-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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This happened to me earlier this pregnancy, around 18 or 19 weeksish, for a couple of days in a row.  Made me pretty nervous, but my care provider said basically exactly the same thing as yours-- relax, try not to worry as long as you're not seeing blood or anything else really unusual.

 

I had regularly spaced BHs for several hours a day every day from week 34 on with my son (who was "finally" born at 41 weeks) but was surprised to have it happen so early this time.  Haven't really  had a repeat incident since those early ones, which is a relief.


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#3 of 31 Old 10-03-2011, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is pretty scary, even if you know what it is! I think it was *less* scary this time around, but it was still hard to relax. I think knowing what actual labor felt like helped me a little this time, too.

 

Perhaps reading this ahead of time can help someone else if this happens!


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#4 of 31 Old 10-03-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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I've never had a BH. Do they feel like regular contractions, just irregular?

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#5 of 31 Old 10-03-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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I have been having pretty frequent BH for a couple months now. Sometimes they seem pretty regular, every 10 minutes or so and sometimes they are random - I'll have 5 in a half hour and then none for 20 minutes. I am getting more used to them, but they are also getting more frequent and uncomfortable. Sometime they wake me up at night. I think it would be so helpful to know what real contractions felt like so I wouldn't worry as much. I just hope I will be able to tell the difference when I need to!

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#6 of 31 Old 10-03-2011, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For me, a braxton hicks is basically like a muscle cramp, but my uterus is the muscle - when it happens, it feels like my uterus it tight, and if I touch it, it is hard and lower in my belly, and I can feel the edges more than usual. It doesn't hurt, though. It is also sometimes a signal to me that I need to pee, especially if it's night time and I'm trying to ignore that and go back to sleep instead of getting up yet again. :)

 

During real labor, I had diarrhea pretty early on and it was more of a full abdomen cramping, instead of just my uterus. I can't remember, but I think I had back pain during real labor, and for me, since my water broke pretty early on, it was very obvious what was going on. This doesn't always happen, though, but it definitely felt very different to me. Another thing is that usually braxton hicks are irregular and labor is very regular and gets closer and closer together, which is why having regular braxton hicks were disconcerting! Sometimes I barely notice them, though as my uterus is getting bigger, I think they're more obvious.


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#7 of 31 Old 10-03-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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I have been getting lots of BH contractions as well - occasionally regular ones. Today my mw gave me a tincture of crampbark to use (Viburnum opulus) which I haven't tried yet, but it's apparently quite effective at calming an excitable uterus.


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#8 of 31 Old 10-05-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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I have a Dr. appt today but have been feeling very crampy the last week or so. Sometimes it wakes me up from my sleep or they get very uncomfortable. Hoping its nothing serious but each day I feel a little more crampy. Also my OB who I loved just left the clinic and I have seen my new Dr. one time and we didn't really click. She specializes in high risk and my previous OB said that was who she would recommend but the last time I saw her she seemed very scatter brained and rushed. Hoping this time she is a little less rushed and listens to what I say. Also with my cramps my naseau has come back full force, I got sick last night all over the floor and poor DH cleaned it up.

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#9 of 31 Old 10-05-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Starr View Post

I have a Dr. appt today but have been feeling very crampy the last week or so. Sometimes it wakes me up from my sleep or they get very uncomfortable. Hoping its nothing serious but each day I feel a little more crampy. Also my OB who I loved just left the clinic and I have seen my new Dr. one time and we didn't really click. She specializes in high risk and my previous OB said that was who she would recommend but the last time I saw her she seemed very scatter brained and rushed. Hoping this time she is a little less rushed and listens to what I say. Also with my cramps my naseau has come back full force, I got sick last night all over the floor and poor DH cleaned it up.



I think it's a good thing that you are going to the doctor. I hope you like the new one better this time. It's probably fine, but just in case. My last pregnancy I went in to labor at 24 weeks. It started off with just Braxton Hicks contractions. They were slightly uncomfortable but nothing that I was really concerned with and they were completely irregular. I had had two normal term pregnancies so no one was too concerned, including me. When I started getting a bloody discharge I went to the hospital and they found that I was already two centimeters dilated and contracting regularly. I still didn't feel like I was in labor. Luckily they were able to stop things from progressing with magnesium but it was no fun and I ended up staying in the hospital for awhile. My dd was born at 32 weeks. She's four years old and fine now.

 

Hopefully, what you are experiencing is nothing and just totally normal braxton hicks contractions and uterine stretching, but it is good that you are getting it checked out. I hope the nausea eases up too. That's no fun. Good luck today.

 

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#10 of 31 Old 10-05-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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I've been having them for over a month now.  For me they happen when I have been on my feet a lot and get to tired.  My entire uterus tightens up and doesn't calm down until I sit down and rest.  We were at the Pumpkin Patch on Monday and after 3 hours of walking around without a break they started up real good.  I would rest awhile and then when I got back up they would start back after just a few minutes.  Not fun, buy I know it's nothing to worry about, just a nice little reminder to drink some water and not push myself so hard.


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#11 of 31 Old 10-05-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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I started getting "pressure waves" (Hypnobabies doesn't want me to call them contractions, lol) at around 24 weeks, and have gotten them on and off throughout the day every day since then.  On nights that I am very tired, they will be very regular!  I think that some women are just more aware of them than others.  Sometimes when I palpate mamas' bellies and stimulate a contraction, I will say to them, "Oh, you're having a contraction!" And they get very surprised because they don't even feel it. 

 

As long as you are not getting any other signs or symptoms of pre-term labor (bloody show, sudden increased pelvic pressure, diarrhea) and the contractions are getting progressively stronger, longer, and closer together, the Braxton Hicks are a normal part of prepping your uterus for labor.  Make sure you are drinking enough water, though, as dehydration can make them worse.


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#12 of 31 Old 10-05-2011, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't had regular BHs since sunday, but I had a MW appointment today and mentioned them to her (basically told her what my former MW had said: "1/2 glass of wine, lots of water, and a warm bath, and she said not to worry unless I was seeing blood or having back cramps or other abdominal pain along with the contractions" and that I'd have called her if I hadn't been pretty sure it was OK or if they hadn't stopped), and she told me she'd pretty much have said the same thing as my previous MW. I definitely want to be aware of them if things change, though - my DS was born at 37wks and 2 days, so I want to try to prevent this LO from being born much before that! (Who knows, I could end up going late this time.)

 

Last time when this happened I was very nervous, because my uncle was born at about 26 weeks (about 1 pound), so that is a very real thing to me. He was lucky, fortunately, but he has a lot of vision problems and learning challenges because they put him on too much oxygen. There have been a lot of advances since then as far as preventing and stopping preterm labor (as well as treating early preemies), but you definitely want to catch it ASAP if that's what is going on.


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#13 of 31 Old 10-06-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Sounds like when I have cramping they are actually contractions. So I have strict orders that is they last longer than an hour to go and get checked out, even if it means going to the ER. At least I am not on bedrest and not able to work, so I'm just making an extra effort to sit down at night and not be on my feet all day. Also she said to up my liquid intake and see if that improves things. Another fun note is that even though they recommend if your pregnant not to lay on your back, I am one of the ones who absolutely should not lay on my back at all. When she was using the doppler to find the babys heartbeat I was laying on my back and the HB was pretty low and she almost sent us down for an US but then when I laid on my side it went right back up to 150. She had me lay on my back again and it went way down in just a few seconds. Luckily its too uncomfortable to lay that way anyway and I am always on my side. On the bright side I started going through baby clothes and my DH is done with school in a few weeks. That will be a huge blessing and then we can get the room painted and organized.

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#14 of 31 Old 10-06-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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I had "regular" braxton hicks with my last 2 pregnancy starting around 24 weeks and lasting until I went into "real labor". My BHs were so consistent with one pregnancy that I went to the hospital thinking I must be in preterm labor. Nope- everything was fine, fortunately. By the time I actually went into active labor (2 pregnancies ago), it wasn't until about 8 hours into it that I finally accepted that it was the real deal, because by the end of the pregnancy it honestly felt like real labor every. single. day. Fun, fun! lol I actually had a similar experience last week. I was having an NST done at the hospital and started having strong and regular contractions to the point where they did the hormone test with the cotton swab and checked my cervix to make sure I wasn't dilating. Everything was fine. I guess it's just how my body works!


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#15 of 31 Old 10-06-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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I have that with the HB, as well. We have to do nightly monitoring with a doppler and if I'm on my back her HB is much lower than when I'm on my side.
 

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Sounds like when I have cramping they are actually contractions. So I have strict orders that is they last longer than an hour to go and get checked out, even if it means going to the ER. At least I am not on bedrest and not able to work, so I'm just making an extra effort to sit down at night and not be on my feet all day. Also she said to up my liquid intake and see if that improves things. Another fun note is that even though they recommend if your pregnant not to lay on your back, I am one of the ones who absolutely should not lay on my back at all. When she was using the doppler to find the babys heartbeat I was laying on my back and the HB was pretty low and she almost sent us down for an US but then when I laid on my side it went right back up to 150. She had me lay on my back again and it went way down in just a few seconds. Luckily its too uncomfortable to lay that way anyway and I am always on my side. On the bright side I started going through baby clothes and my DH is done with school in a few weeks. That will be a huge blessing and then we can get the room painted and organized.



 


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#16 of 31 Old 10-06-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, that's scary! Glad you found out so you know how to deal with it!
 

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Sounds like when I have cramping they are actually contractions. So I have strict orders that is they last longer than an hour to go and get checked out, even if it means going to the ER. At least I am not on bedrest and not able to work, so I'm just making an extra effort to sit down at night and not be on my feet all day. Also she said to up my liquid intake and see if that improves things. Another fun note is that even though they recommend if your pregnant not to lay on your back, I am one of the ones who absolutely should not lay on my back at all. When she was using the doppler to find the babys heartbeat I was laying on my back and the HB was pretty low and she almost sent us down for an US but then when I laid on my side it went right back up to 150. She had me lay on my back again and it went way down in just a few seconds. Luckily its too uncomfortable to lay that way anyway and I am always on my side. On the bright side I started going through baby clothes and my DH is done with school in a few weeks. That will be a huge blessing and then we can get the room painted and organized.



 


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#17 of 31 Old 10-06-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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If I have braxton-hicks, I don't notice them. Haven't with any of my pregnancies. I have however had actual, painful contractions a few times this time. They seem entirely connected to dehydration, since they go away eventually if I drink a couple litres of water. They're very painful & regular (timed them at every 10 minutes one night when it was really bad) so I'm trying to be a lot more careful about my hydration. I also discovered last time around that red raspberry leaf tea gets me contracting if I drink it too early in pregnancy, so I don't drink it until after 36 weeks now.


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#18 of 31 Old 10-07-2011, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Huh, interesting. I realized that that was the day I drank my RRL tea (about 6 hours before this happened) a bit faster than normal because I had to go somewhere. Maybe that caused it? It would make sense, since drinking highly concentrated RRL quickly during labor is supposed to help speed things along. Well, in any case, I guess I should make sure to drink my tea slowly! It hasn't done that to me before, though!


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#19 of 31 Old 10-10-2011, 09:51 PM
 
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Verdict on crampbark for BH... seems to work! I have a tincture which I take in water - the higher end of the suggested dose worked best. I was having them regularly for a while, at least approaching an hour, and my belly was getting ROCK hard... no pain, but unnerving for sure and about to call the midwife if the tincture didn't work. Things have calmed down since then and I've been almost totally free of contractions for the last 3 hours :)


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starr View Post

I have a Dr. appt today but have been feeling very crampy the last week or so. Sometimes it wakes me up from my sleep or they get very uncomfortable. Hoping its nothing serious but each day I feel a little more crampy. Also my OB who I loved just left the clinic and I have seen my new Dr. one time and we didn't really click. She specializes in high risk and my previous OB said that was who she would recommend but the last time I saw her she seemed very scatter brained and rushed. Hoping this time she is a little less rushed and listens to what I say. Also with my cramps my naseau has come back full force, I got sick last night all over the floor and poor DH cleaned it up.

 
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I think it's a good thing that you are going to the doctor. I hope you like the new one better this time. It's probably fine, but just in case. My last pregnancy I went in to labor at 24 weeks. It started off with just Braxton Hicks contractions. They were slightly uncomfortable but nothing that I was really concerned with and they were completely irregular. I had had two normal term pregnancies so no one was too concerned, including me. When I started getting a bloody discharge I went to the hospital and they found that I was already two centimeters dilated and contracting regularly. I still didn't feel like I was in labor. Luckily they were able to stop things from progressing with magnesium but it was no fun and I ended up staying in the hospital for awhile. My dd was born at 32 weeks. She's four years old and fine now.

 

Hopefully, what you are experiencing is nothing and just totally normal braxton hicks contractions and uterine stretching, but it is good that you are getting it checked out. I hope the nausea eases up too. That's no fun. Good luck today.

 


I'm 27 weeks now and have been getting irregular contractions for the past few weeks with some other symptoms (diarreah, nausea, irregular pressure) as well. I never had them with either of my pregnancies before. I just made an appointment to see the doctor this Friday. This pregnancy has been so different than the others, I wouldn't be surprised if it's just hormones, but I'll feel better after she checks.  My blood pressure is always low too. I'm not in love with my doctor/OB office this time around either so hopefully they are helpful and the appointment goes well.

 

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#21 of 31 Old 10-12-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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I've been feeling braxton hicks for a few weeks but definitely nothing regular, I'll notice one or two a day. Today I walked to the park with my kids and when I got home I was having contractions but they went away with rest and hydration. I was very relieved, preterm labor is nothing to screw around with!  Starr I am glad you went in to be checked out and now know to be very attentive to those cramps. I hope your baby stays put for quite a while yet!


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#22 of 31 Old 10-28-2011, 03:36 AM
 
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I have a question about bh contractions. I've been getting them for the past 4 weeks or so. I'm 27 weeks right now. They've gotten more regular and intense in the past 2 weeks and usually start regularly in the evenings around 5-6pm. I work evenings in a lab, so it seems like I start to get them after about 3-4 hours of work. I walk/run around a lot at work, so when I start to get them, I'm not really able to walk much and not able to do my job as quickly and efficiently. Most days, I waddle and walk very slowly. I guess my question is, is this serious? I don't feel like I'll go into pre-term labor and I don't feel like I should be too worried, but my mom is freaking out a little bit. She wants me to go to the ER when I get them. They are super uncomfortable and really limit how much I can do at work and how quickly, but for whatever reason, I'm not too worried about them.

 

I try to stay hydrated-I drink between 50-90 oz of water and chamomile tea a day. Some days I don't drink as much because I have this awful, awful taste in my mouth, but I try not to drink less than 50 oz. Should I be worried? I've called the birth center where I plan on having my baby and they said that if there's no blood and no changes in my discharge then they wouldn't worry. They just asked me to stay super hydrated and said if I was worried, I should make an appointment with an OB at the adjacent hospital.

 

I'm not sure if I'm reacting properly because I'm just not that worried. I wish I didn't need to run around as much at work, but I can't really change that. Oh, and I live in the city, so I take public transportation. It takes me about 1.5-2 hours to get to work. Sometimes I have to run after the bus lol. Does that make a difference (running to catch the bus or train)? TIA everyone! I appreciate it :)

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#23 of 31 Old 10-28-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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I get BH contractions regularly throughout the day as well. Sometimes they cluster into 4-8 in an hour... it seems to be associated with dehydration, too much activity, too little sleep and/or poking my belly too much! (I can get one going if I try to feel around for the baby, or if dh rubs my belly some days...) I've had to really watch my activity level because that definitely aggravates them... so for me it has been a matter of letting go of being so 'productive' and cutting back on physical work as much as possible.

 

My midwife was not worried because mine are not painful, regular, or showing any discharge. If I had any of those three symptoms (and when she meant pain she said 'severe pain' so I'm not sure quite what to make of that) I was to call... but so far none of those things are happening.  Mine started around 24 weeks, and at 29 weeks they certainly haven't gone away, but have increased in intensity (first baby by the way, don't know if that makes a difference!) I seem to have what's called an 'irritable uterus'. I was given a tincture of crampbark which I take sparingly, but that seems to help if they really get going.

 

I don't think I have any advice for you whether or not you're worrying 'an appropriate amount' ;) If the birthing centre is not worried, that's certainly a vote in the not-worrying category (especially because I imagine they have a lot more detail available about your pregnancy and about what's actually happening!) I would get in touch with your care provider so they are aware if you haven't done that already... and to me if they are bothersome enough to have you adjusting your activity level, see if there are ways to do so in your life right now perhaps... (eg. could you fully sit down at work for 10-15 minutes if you've had a few really bothersome ones?) In any case I would try to find some really clear guidelines (probably from your care provider/birth centre about when to take more action, and then if your contractions fit that criteria (or if you just *have a bad feeling*) then you know that's the appropriate reaction. 

 

I'm trying to see it as a bigger indication that at some point, my body is just going to *command* me to just *stop*, and working with making that adjustment little by little in my life. It has been really humbling knowing that at some point my whole life will come to a screeching halt, I'll go into labour for real and that's all that will matter. 

 

In that sense the BH contractions are good 'practice' for me in more than just a physical way.

 

Sorry for rambling. I haven't slept much! 


Weaving, knitting mama of one beautiful daughter born at home,  reading.gif and yoga teacher namaste.gif planning a homebirth.jpg with our second, due mid-january. Trying to crochetsmilie.gif & sewmachine.gif & notes.gif more... We like to fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#24 of 31 Old 10-28-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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If the contractions are regular and more than 4-6 an hour, personally I would want to have my cervix checked to make sure they weren't affecting it.  I have an irritable uterus and have been having regular bh contractions since 19 weeks. I had been getting regular checks and at 28 weeks my cervix was paper thin (after being fine 2 weeks prior). I'm now on modified bed rest and my cervix has lengthened (apparently my cervix is also "dynamic" meaning it can frequently change). I'm sensitive to this because my sister had a baby at 25 weeks with similar symptoms to what I was having. So pay attention to your body and get checked out if it doesn't feel right. Also, right before I found out my cervix had shortened significanty, I was having a ton of pelvic pressure. So that is something else to watch for. Can be normal, but can be an issue too. Not trying to scare you, but just follow your gut.

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#25 of 31 Old 10-28-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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Thank you cedarwoman and waluso. cedarwoman, I'm actually comforted by the rambling :)

 

I feel like sometimes the bh are nothing to worry about and sometimes I get a little worried, especially when I get really stressed at work and have to do a lot of running. The past few days I've been feeling little jabs in my uterus so I will get checked. But I'm not too worried... I think this is practice for the real contractions too. But at my job, I'm expected to do a certain amount of work, so if I'm overworking myself and causing my body harm, I'd like to know so I can maybe request less rigorous work.

 

Again thank you ladies so much for your advice :). It's really comforting to know I can come here and listen to other women's experiences.

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#26 of 31 Old 10-30-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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Winniepam - Could you try slowing down your workload for a couple of days as an experiment to see if that makes a difference?

 

I was at the midwife's on Friday and she was poking around with the fetoscope looking for the heartbeat so my husband could hear it.  Then she stopped and said: "She's having a contraction, I can't hear anything right now."  She seemed super calm about it, like it was the  most matter-of-fact thing (meanwhile, my husband almost pulled out the stopwatch to start timing them, hahaha).  So I guess if midwives are not worried about it, and it's not severe pain (like someone said) then it should be ok.  I get them now every night, about 3-4 in one hour but I just tell myself to breathe and relax and they go away.  Good practice, if you ask me. :)


Happy housewife and mom to big Z, born at home 1/2012. m/c 07/14 @ 5w and happy to get back to trying!  
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#27 of 31 Old 10-30-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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Braxton Hicks contractions are totally normal, but everyone should be aware of the signs of preterm labor as well. Since I'm currently in the hospital because of preterm labor, I am getting very familiar with them and the contractions can be totally painless. Even painless contractions can be a sign to sit down and get off your feet, drink some water and relax. Listen to your body and if you have a bad feeling, get checked. Here's a list of preterm labor symptoms from the March of Dimes website.

 

Warning signs of preterm labor 

  • Contractions (your abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
  • Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina)
  • Pelvic pressure—the feeling that your baby is pushing down
  • Low, dull backache
  • Cramps that feel like your period
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea

What should I do if I think I'm having preterm labor?

Call your health care provider (nurse, doctor or midwife) or go to the hospital right away if you think you're having preterm labor, or if you have any of the warning signs. Call even
if you have only one sign.

Your health care provider may tell you to:

  • Come into the office or go to the hospital for a checkup.
  • Stop what you're doing. Rest on your left side for one hour.
  • Drink 2-3 glasses of water or juice (not coffee or soda).

If the symptoms get worse or do not go away after one hour, call your provider again or go to the hospital. If the symptoms get better, relax for the rest of the day.

 

 

 

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#28 of 31 Old 10-30-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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I'm kind of disturbed that pelvic pressure is considered a sign, since I've had it quite often lately. I had actual contractions for a few hours on a few days earlier on, but only on really hot days when I got dehydrated.


mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#29 of 31 Old 10-31-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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I'm at least comforted by the idea that supposedly if things calm down after an hour, you're fine (except maybe to rest and drink more water)... from what I understand from that list anyways. I have had bouts of intense contractions much closer together than 10 minutes, but not lasting as long as an hour and no other signs of preterm labour. I've got a midwives appt today so I'll post up later about what they think...


Weaving, knitting mama of one beautiful daughter born at home,  reading.gif and yoga teacher namaste.gif planning a homebirth.jpg with our second, due mid-january. Trying to crochetsmilie.gif & sewmachine.gif & notes.gif more... We like to fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#30 of 31 Old 10-31-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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I didn't mean to scare anyone, just that everyone should be aware and listen to their body. If you are having lots of pressure and contractions, my doctor was advising me to lay on my left side and drink water for an hour. It had been going away every time I did that so I think it's good advice. When it didn't go away we did go to the hospital and I have been in here on medication, bedrest etc. due to my cervix dilating and effacing and continuing contractions. One thing that I've learned since having preterm labor in my last two pregnancies is that if you catch things early, they can stop or slow things down and try to get extra time for the baby. So it's not good to ignore signs since there are things that can be done. I'm at high risk since I've had symptoms and previous preterm labor but for most women, getting off their feet for a short time will take care of those symptoms and there's no need to panic. But, you don't want to sit around and wait for things to get really painful if there really is a problem so the guidelines are pretty helpful, expecially with the stakes so high.

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