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It’s really scary when you experience contractions during pregnancy especially when it’s not your actual due date. To help ease your worry and identify what’s happening to your body, you should get familiar with Braxton Hicks contractions and understand how to differentiate it from being in labor.
In this article, we’ll help you understand what Braxton Hicks is, the symptoms of Braxton Hicks contractions, and the main differences between it and labor contractions
What are Braxton Hicks contractions?
Also known as false labor alarm, Braxton Hicks contractions happen as a way for your body to prepare for labor but don’t mean that your body has started the labor process or that your body is going into labor any time soon. During Braxton Hicks contractions, you’ll feel similar pains to labor contractions, but they are not as frequent or intense.
What does a Braxton Hicks contraction feel like?
The main characteristic of the Braxton Hicks contraction is that you can feel your belly tightening and releasing. Others have reported the feeling of mild period cramps. In fact, the main difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and labor contractions is that they are uncomfortable but usually not painful.
What’s the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and labor contractions?
- Braxton Hicks contractions usually aren’t painful
- They do not have a regular pattern
- The frequency of contractions does not increase
- Contractions in Braxton Hicks don’t last for longer periods
- Braxton Hicks contractions don’t become more intense
- They can even stop if you change your position
- Can only be felt in the belly
- And most importantly, they disappear after a while
Why do Braxton Hicks contractions occur?
If you haven’t been drinking enough water and exposing yourself to too much heat, your body can get dehydrated and experience Braxton Hicks Contractions as a result
Nausea or vomiting
Stomach muscle spasm that comes with nausea or vomiting or the illnesses that cause it can lead to Braxton Hicks contractions.
Performing too much effort
If you’re lifting something heavy, or having vigorous sex and exerting too much physical activity, the strain you add to your body can lead to Brixton Hicks contractions.
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