A crucial stage in every woman’s life is the gestation period of pregnancy where she feels the exhilaration of carrying and nurturing a new life into the world. Pregnancy itself has a lot of experiences to give and lessons to teach when you are having your first baby. It is a well acknowledged fact that every pregnancy is different be it the second child of the mother. It is important to note that a healthy diet and proper vitamins are essential for a healthy delivery. Braxton Hicks contractions are the most common and recurrent symptom in every pregnancy.
Things You Need to Knew About Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are often referred to as the practice contractions that are sporadic and occur on the uterine wall of an expectant mother. Braxton Hicks may start from six weeks into pregnancy but generally are observed in the second or third trimester of the pregnancy. They are more prominent once the mother crosses her second trimester and enters the final journey for the baby. It is interesting to note that Braxton Hicks is actually named after the doctor John Braxton who explained the phenomenon of such contractions. As and when the pregnancy reaches closer to its maturity date the mother starts experiencing Braxton Hicks on a more recurrent basis. It is important to note that one can never estimate the pattern of Braxton Hicks contractions. As explained by many doctors Braxton Hicks are general;
- Irregular in intensity
- Painless during the beginning of the pregnancy
- No set rhythmic pattern
- They may come to a halt all of a sudden and have no set duration
What does Braxton Hicks Contractions feel like?
Braxton Hicks Contractions are often described as tightening in the abdomen that comes and goes in the last and third trimester of the pregnancy. To better understand, Braxton Hicks are a feeling of continuous tightening and relaxing in the lower abdomen near the groin. Many doctors and midwives believe that Braxton Hicks is the body’s natural way of preparing the uterine walls for the onset of true labor pains during the time of delivery.
The sudden contractions in the body promote healthy blood flow to the placenta and ultimately reach the body of the baby. They do not dilate the cervix but only help in softening it so that there are no further complications in the pregnancy at the time of delivery. Many pregnant ladies describe Braxton Hicks as false contractions that feel like menstrual cramps and are avoidable as one changes their position. Braxton Hicks Contractions may be uncomfortable but they are generally not extremely painful to the mother. At times it becomes difficult for the mother to distinguish between true labor pains and Braxton Hicks Contractions.
Generally it is observed that during Braxton Hicks the mothers can see an unusual tightening in the skin of the stomach as well as a contorted shape of the belly. To distinguish between Braxton Hicks and true labor, the best way is to observe the pattern and the duration of the pain. For a mother to go into labor the first step before the onset of contractions to start is the rupturing of the water bag prior to which only the birth of the baby takes place.
The most commonly reported reasons and causes of Braxton Hicks are not something to be extremely worried about. In majority of the cases, a Braxton Hick occurs when the child is extremely active and is causing movements in the mother’s body. Another common trigger to Braxton Hick is when someone touches the belly and that evokes a reaction out of the baby, a full bladder and sex may also be the reason for a Braxton Hick contraction in the mother. The most harmful impact to the mother’s body is often caused by dehydration when the mother fails to give the child adequate amount of fluids and that triggers Braxton Hicks in the body a natural way to give a warning to the mother. Therefore it is essential for the mother to always keep her body hydrated especially when she comes back after an outing in the Sun.
Treatment to Braxton Hicks Contractions
Though majority of the time Braxton Hicks are not severely painful yet they cause an uncomfortable and slight cramping sensation in the body of the mother which makes treatment a necessity. It is always advisable by doctors to either wait out till the contraction subsides or you can try natural home remedies to cure the Hick. Doctors do not prefer the use of any medicine or painkiller to treat the contractions as they can occur frequently and too much pain medication may be harmful for the baby as well as hamper the natural method of child birth. Generally you can get rid of a Braxton Hick by;
- Changing the position in which you are sitting may stop the contraction as it can be a result of a muscle cramp in the body. Therefore mothers in their last trimester are often suggested to keep on changing their body positions to avoid false alarms.
- Taking a mild walk in the room as it will help loosen the muscles of the body and stop the contraction
- A gentle massage near the lower abdomen and the back can help the mother feel more comfortable and relaxed.
- Apply a warm compress on the stomach
- Warm baths are bound to loosen the stiff muscles and calm the body.
- A warm cup of herbal tea is helpful in relaxing the muscles of the body
- A good sleep and adequate rest may also do the trick for you
Thus, it is important for mothers to never panic and deal with situations in a calm and composed manner. Braxton Hicks Contractions do not cause any harm to the baby rather they are merely preparing the body for a natural birth. It is important to understand that if the contractions are closely knit and painful one can always visit the doctor and ask for expert advice.
Read More: Braxton Hicks Contraction: How Do They Feel Like?