About braxton-hicks contractions (false labor)

What is braxton-hicks contractions (false labor)?

Braxton Hicks contractions are the "false" labor pains that a pregnant woman might have before “true” labor. They’re your body's way of getting ready for the real thing. But they don’t mean labor has started or is about to begin.Before "true" labor begins, you may have "false" labor pains. These are also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. They are your body's way of getting ready for the real thing -- the day you give birth -- but they are not a sign that labor has begun or is getting ready to begin.

What are the symptoms for braxton-hicks contractions (false labor)?

Prodromal or false labor pains symptom was found in the braxton-hicks contractions (false labor) condition

Some women describe Braxton Hicks Contractions as tightening in their belly that comes and goes. Many say they feel like mild menstrual cramps. Braxton Hicks Contractions may be uncomfortable, but they don’t cause labor or open your cervix.

Unlike true labor, Braxton Hicks contractions:

  • Usually aren’t painful
  • Don’t have a regular pattern
  • Don’t get closer together
  • Don’t last longer as they go on
  • Don’t get stronger over time
  • May stop when you change activities or positions
  • Are felt only in your belly
  • Taper off and disappear

You may have Braxton Hicks Contractions during your third trimester of pregnancy or as early as your second trimester. They’re normal and nothing to worry about.

What are the causes for braxton-hicks contractions (false labor)?

Dehydration is the most common cause of Braxton Hicks contractions. Other triggers include:

  • Illness that causes nausea or vomiting
  • The fetus’s movement
  • The mother’s activity, especially lifting something or having sex

What are the treatments for braxton-hicks contractions (false labor)?

You don't have to do anything for these contractions. If they’re making you uncomfortable, try one of these tips:

  • Drink water.
  • Take a walk. False labor contractions often stop when you change position or get up and move.
  • If you've been active, take a nap or rest.
  • Relax by taking a warm bath or listening to music.
  • Get a massage.

What are the risk factors for braxton-hicks contractions (false labor)?

False labor contractions are also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These irregular uterine contractions are perfectly normal and might begin in your second or third trimester.

  • A contraction is when your uterus tightens and then relaxes. Contractions are your body's way of getting ready for real labor.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions are a tightening in your abdomen that comes and goes.
  • These contractions don't get closer together, don't increase in how long they last or how often they occur and don't feel stronger over time.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions can feel like mild menstrual cramps and be uncomfortable. They often come with a change of position and stop with rest. You can talk, walk and go about your normal activities during Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions feel a little like menstrual cramps. They are felt in the front of your abdomen, but not in your back or lower part of your uterus. It's uncomfortable but not painful.
  • The body may do some preparation drills. One such physical preparation can be the onset of Braxton-Hicks contractions.
  • Braxton-Hicks are non-labor (or "false labor") contractions that occur regularly during your pregnancy as your body begins to prepare itself for the real thing. The frequency of these contractions can vary based on factors like your activity and hydration levels.
  • Regardless of the frequency, Braxton-Hicks contractions are quite normal and can really help you know more about what to expect as you count down to labor.
  • Braxton-Hicks occur when the uterus muscles tighten and loosen, and they may increase as you approach your due date. They generally come at random times throughout the day and may stop with certain movements or body positions.

Risk factors-
Too much standing or walking in the third trimester.

  • Dehydration
  • Overhydration
  • Experiencing stress
  • Close to the due date

Prodromal or false labor pains
Non-labour contractions in the second and third trimester of pregnancy
Drinking water,Relaxing,No treatment is required

Is there a cure/medications for braxton-hicks contractions (false labor)?

By the midpoint of pregnancy, the woman and provider should discuss what the woman may experience during the remainder of the pregnancy. Braxton Hicks contractions are one of the normal events a woman may experience. Teaching her about Braxton Hicks contractions will help her to be informed and to decrease her anxiety if they occur.

There is no medical treatment for Braxton Hicks contractions. However, taking action to change the situation that triggered the Braxton Hicks contractions is warranted. Some actions to ease Braxton Hicks contractions include:

1. Changing position or activity level: if the woman has been very active, lie down; if the woman has been sitting for an extended time, go for a walk.

2. Relaxing: take a warm bath, get a massage, read a book, listen to music, or take a nap.

3. Drinking water to rehydrate.

4. If these actions do not lessen the Braxton Hicks contractions or if the contractions continue and are becoming more frequent or more intense, the patient's healthcare provider should be contacted.

Also, if any of the following are present, the healthcare provider should be contacted immediately:

1. Vaginal bleeding

2. Leaking of fluid from the vagina

3. Strong contractions every 5-minutes for an hour

4. Contractions that the woman is unable to "walk through"

5. A noticeable change in fetal movement, or if there are less than ten movements every 2 hour

Prodromal or false labor pains
Non-labour contractions in the second and third trimester of pregnancy
Drinking water,Relaxing,No treatment is required

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