Braxton Hicks – the lowdown


In the past week I’ve been getting Braxton Hicks quite badly. It’s the norm at this stage but when I’m not being active enough, I can really feel it and sometimes it hurts like hell. Most of the time I don’t feel them at all but when I do by Jo it can be painful.

What are Braxton Hicks?

Most commonly known as false contractions, Braxton Hicks are usually relatively painless and mostly feel like that time of the month. They happen when your uterus tightens and then relaxes again and are irregular- there’s no given time or moment when they’ll spring upon you, but according to my midwife, they’ll get more painful as my pregnancy goes on, especially as Missy gets her head down into position. Whilst they can be painful and sore (sometimes), they do wear off and don’t have a steady pattern. You’ll know when the real deal kicks into gear, because they’ll become closer and closer to each other, forming a pattern, but if you’re unsure, call your midwife asap.

Generally BH starts around 20 weeks, though you’re more likely not to notice them until week 32 of your pregnancy and continue all the way until your labour starts.

What can I do to help ease the pain?

Drink fluids: Believe it or not dehydration can cause contractions, so keep to your minimum of 2 litres of water a day to help ease the pain

Move: I’ve mostly been feeling my BH when I’ve been sitting down, so try changing your position. If you’re sitting down, stand up and try and move around, or vice versa. The more you move the better the BH will feel easing up.

Practice makes perfect: Although uncomfortable at the moment in time, your body is gearing you up for actual labour and what’s to come. Your body is a machine and can cope with labour, so use the Braxton Hicks as an opportunity to practice your breathing.

Use a TENS machine: Your may have heard your midwife mention the OBI TENS machine as one form of pain relief during labour. But if your Braxton Hicks is way to uncomfortable, use it. I bought mine online but you can rent from selected retail stores.

If you find your BH too painful, maybe you’re doing too much, so take a rest, put your feet up, have a cuppa and relax.



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