Are braxton-hicks useful? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 06-22-2010, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I seem to be able to "encourage" BH whenever I want them (by doing unusual things like standing up) or get them to go away (by lying down and resting).

My question is are they doing anything useful? I mean is there a reason to encourage or discourage them? Toning the uterus for easier labor? Helping kick start the real thing?

(I am 37w with high BP, so not opposed to encouraging things to avoid medical induction that is looming, but don't want to boot the little guy out before he's cooked either).

Thoughts?

Me (36), my DH (37), our DD (12/07), and our new DS (7/7/10)
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#2 of 8 Old 06-22-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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No idea but will be interested to hear what others say!!

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#3 of 8 Old 06-22-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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I choose to believe that they are useful! Anecdotally, I always had a LOT of BH and have very short, easy births. And I go into labour about a week before my due date!

If nothing else, you can use them learn to conciously relax your birthing muscles. If you do that everytime you get BH, it will seem like the normal thing to do when the real thing comes!

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#4 of 8 Old 06-22-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummy marja View Post
If nothing else, you can use them learn to conciously relax your birthing muscles. If you do that everytime you get BH, it will seem like the normal thing to do when the real thing comes!
This. Yeah, for sure, getting into a headspace over and over again is great practice for the intense run that will follow.

I don't think you need to try to encourage them on purpose. Just go about your life... though I hear you on wanting baby to come if he/she is ready and not having a medical induction.

Just wondering if you've tried EPO capsules in your vaginal canal close to the cervix, or some of dh's Super Juice to ripen your cervix and encourage dilation if your body is ready?

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#5 of 8 Old 06-22-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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my DR said they arent

but who knows...... they pretty uncomfy for me these days though

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#6 of 8 Old 06-22-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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I choose to believe they are useful, and second (third?) the idea that the mental preparation is part of it.

I also have days when I get them every time I stand up, and it usually reminds me that I've either been very active, or have not been drinking enough water.

I don't think that having lots of BH can necessarily make labor start any earlier, though. I think it just helps prepare...but I'm really talking out my a** and not speaking with any authority, here.
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#7 of 8 Old 06-22-2010, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummy marja View Post
I choose to believe that they are useful! Anecdotally, I always had a LOT of BH and have very short, easy births. And I go into labour about a week before my due date!
I was hoping that this was going to be the answer. If I can't get a nice neat study proving it's true I'll take whatever anecdotal stories I can get

Quote:
Originally Posted by mummy marja View Post
If nothing else, you can use them learn to conciously relax your birthing muscles. If you do that everytime you get BH, it will seem like the normal thing to do when the real thing comes!
Point taken!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
Just wondering if you've tried EPO capsules in your vaginal canal close to the cervix, or some of dh's Super Juice to ripen your cervix and encourage dilation if your body is ready?
Definitely doing the EPO, was orally, but switched to cervically (word??) at 37 weeks. As for DH's "super juice" (this totally cracked me up!) we are having trouble both being in that mind place at the same time, but we've made another date for after DD heads to bed - we'll see where it leads...

Me (36), my DH (37), our DD (12/07), and our new DS (7/7/10)
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#8 of 8 Old 06-23-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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ITA with mummy marja, I believe they do help make laboring shorter/easier. My mom had lots of BH for all eight of her pregnancies and they were mostly around four or five hours (shortest was 43 minutes, the midwives didn't make it). I had a ton of BH with my first and had a 3 hour 42 minute labor. I'm having lots this time too (more I think) and I've got my fingers crossed that it means I'm in for another short labor. They may not help start labor, but I have always heard they help prepare your body for it (and so theoretically, if you are prepared it should be easier, right?)

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