Braxton-Hicks/Prodromal Labor/Pre-Term Labor - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-01-2010, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I hope this isn't a really stupid question. But can somebody explain to me the difference between these three? I'm still nursing, so I might be at risk for prodromal labor. I have gestational pemphigoid, so I might be at risk for pre-term labor. My ob has told me to go to the er to be checked out if I have more than 6 contractions in a hour (I'm only 24 weeks). I've maybe felt a few Braxton-Hicks contractions (is that the same as prodromal?). With my past 2 pregnancies I've never felt anything until the "real" thing, and for some reason I'm very worried about this this time around.
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#2 of 5 Old 08-01-2010, 11:11 PM
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Prodromal is like braxton hicks that never go away... I dealt with it with my DD for 4 weeks and just started this time about 3 days ago.

Braxton hicks are contractions that dont do anything, but generally do go away.

Pre-term labor is actual labor before 35/36/37 weeks (depending on your care providers terms... mines 35, but my old one was 36 and some ladies are 37)

It is always best to get checked if you have contractions that do not go away, they will never laugh at you for having prodromal but you COULD risk being in preterm labor and have a baby born at home who needs medical assistance if you assume it is just prodromal and not preterm.

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#3 of 5 Old 08-02-2010, 01:51 AM
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Not really answering your question, but just wanted to say that I share your worry about pre-term labor this time. I have a bicornuate uterus, and this little one is in the other side than where I carried my son. He was born just after my due date, but since this one is on the other side I feel less reassured by my previous full-term pregnancy that I would otherwise. I also have lots and lots of braxton hicks all the time. I'm 23 weeks and I actually went in to the midwife to be checked because I had a tiny bit of spotting--in combo with the BH it made me very nervous. I was really reassured by my cervix being long and closed--so I guess they are truly BH at this point, not pre-term labor.

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#4 of 5 Old 08-02-2010, 02:37 AM
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Braxton-Hicks are "practice" contractions. They tone the uterus but do NOT cause cervical changes (or move the baby).

Prodromal labor is "real" contractions that do not produce a noticeable or substantial change in the cervix (but may, in fact, be moving baby). They will peter out and "stall" for hours or days, generally, before "true" labor starts. Some will say that early labor is prodromal if there's no substantial change in the cervix.

Pre-term labor is "true" labor that is causing cervical changes before term, i.e., before 37 weeks. (Dates may vary.)


HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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#5 of 5 Old 08-02-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your thoughts! Not sure why I'm so worried this time and not others but I hope that knowledge is helpful.
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