What the heck is the deal with Braxton Hicks?:

Braxton Hicks Contractions… Why you may be having them and what you can do about it.

So you can picture it already… It’s a week out from Valentine’s Day, you are now 8 months pregnant, wondering what outfit you are going to wear for your partner to take you out to some fancy new organic restaurant (you know what’s best for baby and all- we know you really just want chocolate, but give your significant other an A for effort!). All you can really think about is how this Valentine’s Day due to actions 8 months ago- you cannot have that glass of wine you are absolutely craving. And you have been having Braxton Hicks contractions like crazy and would rather stay home and watch Netflix..

Sound about right?? This too shall pass- promise. And when it does, you can celebrate with that nice big glass of wine you’ve been jonesing for. In the meantime, let’s talk about those Braxton Hicks and find at least one thing we can do to make Valentine’s Day a bit more fun and a little less uncomfortable.

So What are Braxton Hicks?

Braxton Hicks contractions can start happening as early as the second trimester. Typically though they are mostly experienced in the third trimester. When this occurs, the muscles of the uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds, and sometimes as long as two minutes.

Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they are a preparation for the real event. They also give you a good opportunity to practice those breathing exercises you learned!

Braxton Hicks are described as:

  • Irregular in intensity

  • Infrequent

  • Unpredictable

  • Non-rhythmic

  • More uncomfortable than painful (although for some women Braxton Hicks can feel painful)

  • They do not increase in intensity or frequency

  • They taper off and then disappear altogether

What can I do to alleviate Braxton Hicks contractions?

  • Change positions. You can lie down if you have been standing or go for a walk if you have been sitting or laying. Good opportunity to cut that Valentine’s Dinner short and go for a walk with your partner!

  • Take a warm bath for 30 minutes or less, If it’s Valentines- Candles and Rose Petals Required.

  • Because contractions may be brought on by dehydration, drink a couple of glasses of water

  • Drink a warm cup of herbal tea- I bet that fancy organic restaurant has some cool teas with no caffeine around… since the wine is a no-go, you have a good excuse to try them out!

Bottom Line on Braxton Hicks- your body is prepping itself for labor. Lots of good self care and staying hydrated will help keep them at bay as much as possible. You are in the home stretch now! Buy that bottle of wine and have it ready for when you get home with your new addition!

Have more questions? Contact me today.

Leah

leah@doulainmississippi.com