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What to know about Braxton Hicks contractions

What to know about Braxton Hicks contractionsBraxton Hicks contractions are often called false labor, but our Grapevine and Fort Worth obgyns understand that they can feel very real. Usually, women experience these pains during the third trimester, but sometimes they occur during the second trimester. They are a normal part of pregnancy, but they can be uncomfortable and cause concern because you may think you are in true labor.

Three questions you may have about Braxton Hicks contractions

The more you know, the less you will worry if and when you experience your first Braxton Hicks contractions. Here are three questions patients ask our Grapevine and Fort Worth obgyns about these contractions.

  1. What causes Braxton Hicks contractions? Physicians and researchers don’t know the exact cause, but one theory is that they occur because the uterus is expanding and the cervix is relaxing as the body prepares for true labor. Some people call it practice labor. Certain things can trigger these contractions such as a full bladder, dehydration, touching the belly and times when the mother and/or the baby are active. Women often notice these pains more often at the end of the day and also after sex.
  2. What do these false labor pains feel like? Braxton Hicks contractions are intermittent pains that cause the abdomen to tighten. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to one or two minutes at a time.
  3. How do I know if the contractions are Braxton Hicks or the beginning of labor? There are several differences between false labor and true labor. Braxton Hicks contractions usually don’t get stronger or closer together over time, but true labor contractions do. False labor pains can sometimes be alleviated or stopped by changing position, walking or resting. However, true labor pains cannot. Most false contractions only cause abdominal pain, but real labor pains can cause pelvic pressure and pain in the back, lower abdomen, and even the thighs.

If you have any doubts about whether your contractions are Braxton Hicks or true labor, do not hesitate to call us.

Our compassionate and experienced Grapevine and Fort Worth obgyns are here to help you have an informed, healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery. Contact us today for an appointment.


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