In the last weeks of pregnancy, pregnant women often feel anxious when they have any strange signs, such as Braxton Hicks contraction. So, what is the Braxton Hicks mound?
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What is the Braxton Hicks mound?
The Braxton hicks contraction is a uterine contraction that continually contracts, begins at the beginning of pregnancy and usually will not be noticed by the mother until after the middle of pregnancy. These contractions are named after the British physician Joth Braxton Hicks, who first described them in 1972 and is often mistaken as a sign of birth preparation.
As the fetus grows, Braxton Hicks contractions will occur more often, but in the final weeks of pregnancy, they show signs of occurring with less frequency and less pain. Sometimes the Braxton Hicks contraction is painful to distinguish from the early signs of preterm birth, so don’t try to guess what!
About two weeks before birth, the mother cervix begins to ripen or gradually thins to prepare for the day of actual labor. The contractions during this period can occur with higher intensity and more often, and they can be uncomfortable for mothers.
Braxton Hicks contractions occur early, cause less pain with discrete frequency. But this pain will cause the mother cervix to become thinner and even expanded a little bit. This is the prenatal period.
How does the Braxton Hicks contraction feel?
When you start to have any contraction, you will feel that your uterus, lower abdomen or groin are tight or squeezed, and then relax. Braxton contractions are infrequent and painless, although they also make mothers uncomfortable.
So how do you know when they’re just Braxton Hicks and when it’s time to head to the hospital?
- are irregular in intensity
- are irregular in pattern
- are infrequent
- do not increase in intensity or frequency
- are more uncomfortable than painful
- disappear if you change positions or activity level, or drink water
Real labor pains:
- increase in intensity and frequency
- have a pattern to them
- do not lessen or disappear if you walk, drink water, or rest
- are painful
Call your doctor if your contractions progress in intensity, frequency, and regularity or if you have other signs of labor such as abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, increased vaginal discharge, increased pelvic pressure, or low back pain.
What is the difference between a Braxton contraction and a real contraction?
A few days before giving birth, Braxton contractions can take place at an individual pace, relatively close to each other and even in pain. And it can be misleading to the mother as a sign of preparation. However, it is not the same as real contraction. These fake contractions often do not last long, healthy and close together.
Braxton Hicks contractions can occur at any time of the day. But they are especially liked at night when the mother is dehydrated, or the bladder is in full state, during physical activity or sex.
What should I do if the Braxton hicks cause pain?
Braxton Hicks will make you feel uncomfortable. And to reduce this feeling, mom can try the following therapies:
- Change activities or positions: Sometimes, walking will bring comfort and relaxation for mom. Occasionally, resting will reduce contractions.
- Drink some water because these contractions can sometimes occur due to dehydration.
- Practice relaxation exercises or try to take a deep breath. It can’t stop the Braxton Hicks, but it will help you feel better.
When to call a doctor?
When your baby is still less than 37 weeks old, please call your doctor right away if the contractions become more rhythmic, more painful and frequent. If you have passed week 37th, you should see as your doctor when you should contact to report your contractions.
With the knowledge of Braxton Hicks contractions and real spasms before actually “overcoming,” we hope that the pregnant moms will be more in control of any situation.