Q&A About Braxton-Hicks
Q. What month do Braxton-Hicks contractions
A. Braxton-Hicks contractions begin at about
6 weeks into pregnancy. However, The sensations of the Braxton-Hicks
contractions are usually noticed at about the 28th week. At this
time, the abdomen is distending
and hormonal changes are causing the initiation of contractions.
Q. What do Braxton-Hicks contractions
A. Braxton-Hicks contractions are sometimes
called false labor. This is because the sensations felt mimic
true labor. During Braxton-Hicks contractions, the abdominal wall
of the uterus becomes hard and firm. The feeling varies from woman
to woman. Usually, the feeling will be low back discomfort or
tightness around the abdomen with some painful feelings. The contraction
usually lasts from beginning to end for thirty to sixty seconds
and then subsides with the abdomen softening and relaxing so there
is an ability to press gently into it without discomfort. The
contractions may continue for a short time thereafter. Or, they
may not return for some time. Each woman experiences Braxton-Hicks
Q. What is the difference between true
labor and Braxton-Hicks?
A. Braxton-Hicks Sign or contractions
are also called false labor because the signs and symptoms are
similar. However, they are further distinguished by the intensity
and timing. To compare and contrast the false and true labor is
a matter of degree and individual. The most determining factor,
of course, is the length of the pregnancy. If the pain of the
contractions at any time becomes so severe as to cause concern,
medical attention should be sought. Braxton-Hicks contractions
are felt early in the pregnancy until the onset of symptoms and
signs of true labor. True labor signs are increased pelvic pressure
with the contractions and increased back pain that continue and
do not subside. Braxton-Hicks contractions are more of an uncomfortable
complaint. True labor pain continues to increase and does not
stop or dissipate. Walking around and increased water intake as
well as changing position can relieve Braxton-Hicks contraction
discomfort while no relief with these techniques is gained when
a woman is in true labor. Braxton-Hicks contractions go away for
a while. True labor pains only end with delivery.
Q. What helps lesson the intensity and
pain or discomfort of Braxton-Hicks contractions?
A. Some of the methods reported by many
women that have helped to decrease discomfort are deep breathing
and relaxation techniques. Meditation and yoga are also said to
relieve pain when the position is one of comfort. Imagery helps
and as the mind relaxes, so does the body tension. Increasing
water intake has been reported to help due to the fact that dehydration
increases feelings of pain. Whatever technique seems to work,
the practicing of the method used for decreasing discomfort will
help to prepare the future mother for labor and delivery.
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