What is…a Braxton Hicks contraction?

pregnant woman sitting on bed and reading book

Braxton Hicks contractions are really normal and many women experience them throughout their second and third trimesters.

Braxton Hicks contractions is simply your uterus contracting and relaxing and some women experience these more at the end of pregnancy.

These contractions can be uncomfortable but not painful, they don’t grow in intensity or get closer together and they will just stop, which is how they are different from labour contractions.

Braxton Hicks can also be triggered when you have sex, when you have a full bladder, if you are dehydrated and if you have been on your feet a lot that day.

If you are at the end of your pregnancy and unsure if labour is starting, it’s often a time of watchful waiting to see what these contractions do – if they just stop they are Braxton Hicks but if they keep coming you could be in labour. You can contact your pregnancy assessment unit if you are unsure and feel in need of some reassurance.

braxton hicks contractions

If your Braxton Hicks are uncomfortable…

Braxton Hicks contractions are an opportunity for you to use your breathing and to go with what helps you to make you feel more comfortable – this could include standing and rocking, moving about, having a bath, drinking plenty of water so you are not dehydrated. They can be great preparation for labour.

With Braxton Hicks contractions you might experience some cramping and your bump might feel tight. While this is very normal, it can also be worth getting checked out if you experience a lot of contractions before 37 weeks and if you feel like something isn’t quite right.

With consultationsdigital guides and courses, my practice is here for you every step of the way. You can also become a member for exclusive content, discussion and a place to ask questions.

As a doula I work with parents from across Newcastle and Tyneside.

janine signature

Working with parents since 2002

Based in the North East, I work with parents everywhere. How can I help?

Copyright: Janine Smith