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I was recently told that any contractions felt before the 36th week are not officially considered braxton hicks.<br><br>
On the one hand that makes some sense that braxton hicks are for getting the uterus ready for delivery so you really wouldn't want your body starting too early. On the other hand, what else would they be considered - pre-term labor contractions?<br><br>
I ask because with both my pregnancy's I had contractions very early on (week 27 with DS#1 and week 32 with DS #2) but they felt very much like what a braxton hicks is described as and sometimes I never even felt them at all. They would find them during the NST. With DS #1 it was debated whether they were starting dialation so they put me on tributaline. As soon as I was allowed off I started to dialate. So far with DS #2 I have not started to dialate yet (34 weeks).
 

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I started getting BH contrax at about 16 weeks with both this PG and the last one.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">any contractions felt before the 36th week are not officially considered braxton hicks</td>
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I've never heard that. In fact, I'd consider any contrax <i>before</i> 36 weeks to be BH and anything after to be pre-labor.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by irishprincess71</i><br><b>I was recently told that any contractions felt before the 36th week are not officially considered braxton hicks.<br></b></td>
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Then when do you have bh? I started bh with ds at 18 weeks and with this pg at 11 weeks. With ds I began ptl at 28 weeks (with dilation but never had the tributilane) And have already had issues with contractions with this pg starting at about 19 weeks.<br><br>
There is a definite difference between the 2. I'm not quite sure I understand what a bh is then based on the info you heard recently.....<br><br>
I know some say they are bh unless you dialte but I'm not sure I believe that either.... of course my mw said it is impossible to have ptl issues at 20 weeks...Im not feeling contractions or bh. I'm feeling stretching....umm... yeah right...
 

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I didn't know there was a difference between the two, and I always use the term pre-labor contraction or practice contraction (or belly hugs) for any of the squeezes and hard-tummy sensations I've been having since around week 20.<br><br>
I should do some research. Here's what babycenter.com says:<br><br>
"What are Braxton Hicks contractions?<br>
Sometime toward the middle of your pregnancy (or even earlier), you may notice the muscles of your uterus tightening for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. Not all women feel these random, usually painless contractions, which get their quirky name from John Braxton Hicks, an English doctor who first described them in 1872. "<br><br>
I get irritated when experiences are named after doctors, (esp. women's experiences named after male doctors) - who the [email protected]#$ was Dr. John Braxton Hicks? I doubt he was truely the first person to describe them (pregnant women and midwives don't "count"), just the first man doctor to describe them, and it pisses me off that they have his name.<br><br>
Does the term pre-labor contraction connote premature labor (like dilation)? I'll just keep calling them belly hugs for now.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by panda</i><br><b>Does the term pre-labor contraction connote premature labor (like dilation)? I'll just keep calling them belly hugs for now.</b></td>
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I don't think so. You can have contractions that are just that but aren't considered ptl until the regulate into something that causes change...I believe that is what the difference is. Braxton hicks are probably what your "belly hugs" are...cute term btw. Basically your muscles tighten and with a contraction it is in a more localized area...typically lower in the abdomen and wrapping around to your back...I think that is text book though so I guess anything is possible.<br><br>
braxton hicks can also "take your breath away" in that they squeeze your entire abdomen so hard it may make it tight to breathe.<br><br>
Does that makes sense?
 

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Actually the uterus starts contracting way in the 1st trimester - we just can't feel it usually. Dr. Sears says in The Pregnancy Book that b/h usually start in the 5th month but may start as early as the 4th month in mothers who have already had at least one child. I know I have been feeling b/h for almost two months now and I am just 23 weeks. HTH!
 

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b-h can start anytime during pregnancy, it varies from mama to mama. They usualyl get earlier with each subsequent pregnancy, btu that might jsut be becuase you know what they feel like so recognize it earlier.<br><br>
I did want to address this one point: {quote]of course my mw said it is impossible to have ptl issues at 20 weeks[/quote]<br><br>
That's absolutely not true. I'm 24+ weeks right now with my 3rd, and have been having preterm labor issues for about a month. I get "b=h" (I put that in quotes because they are causing some softening of my cervix, though no dilateion yet, luckily!) I'm curious as to why the MW would say this-is it becuase prior to 24 weeks viability isn't possible, so anything before 24 weeks would be considered a miscarriage?<br><br>
I had preterm issues with both my boys (first was born at 36 weeks, second at 34.5, after two weeks of hospitalization with mag sulfate, terbutaline, procardia and everything else but the kitchen sink to stop the contractions, LOL!) It's my understanding that the only difference between b-h and the real thing is cercival change. Bottom line, if you are having 3 or more contractions an hour, no matter where you are in pregnancy, you should call your care provider to get it checked. At 24 weeks, I'm getting between 2 and 5 "b-h" an hour, adn they are severe enough to warrant having to breathe through them, and not be able to talk.
 

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Well, I started noticing bh contrax fairly early in the 2nd trimester.. they definitely weren't preterm labor. They started getting stronger/more frequent around 34-35 weeks. I had an internal at 38 weeks that showed I was 1.5 cm dialated and just slightly effaced, and that didn't change in the two weeks following, despite periods where the prelabor/bh contractions would come every 5-10 min and started being slightly painful (like menstrual cramp painful) for up to an hour or two...<br><br>
As I still haven't had this baby, I'd say that doesn't necessarily mean anything, although if they'd been that strong before 36 weeks I think I would have been concerned and had them checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you ladies so much. You all are such a welcome wealth of information.<br><br>
Since I am 34 1/2 weeks and I am not dilating at all yet, I am not going to worry about it or let them worry me about it.
 
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