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What Are Braxton Hicks Contractions

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions start towards the middle of your pregnancy (sometimes earlier). Some mums say they feel like a tightening across their tummies and some even find them quite pleasant! When you feel them, remember to practice your breathing and make sure you're drinking plenty of water too. Not sure if you're having Braxton Hicks contractions? Get in touch with your doctor.

What do Braxton Hicks contractions feel like?

Sometimes called false contractions, Braxton Hicks are usually relatively painless and similar to menstrual cramps. They happen when your uterus tightens and then relaxes again and are irregular. Towards the end of your pregnancy they might feel a bit more painful, especially if your baby is getting head down into position. 

You'll know if it's the real thing because the contractions will become closer to each other (but still with a steady pattern) and last for longer. You'll also feel them becoming more intense and painful. On the other hand, Braxton Hicks will wear off and do not have a steady pattern. Remember, if you're ever in doubt, please contact your doctor.

Coping with Braxton Hicks

If you find your Braxton Hicks painful then maybe you're doing too much? Try having a sit or lie down on your side (not your back). If that doesn't work, try gently moving around a bit or relax in a warm bath. It's also possible you could be a bit dehydrated, so drink plenty of water.