Braxton Hicks Contractions Causes and Symptoms

Braxton Hicks Contractions Causes and Symptoms
0 25 September 2023
Braxton Hicks Contractions Causes and Symptoms

Braxton Hicks contractions are uterine contractions that are termed as ‘practice’ or ‘false’ contractions. They are normal contractions of the uterus that mimic labour contractions but do not lead to labour and are also painless. They are, in fact, a regular part of the body’s preparation for labour and are commonly felt during the second and third trimesters.

So, all good and harmless about ‘Braxton Hicks contractions,’ right? Not necessarily. These uncomfortable and unpredictable uterine contractions can cause significant problems in the longer run, leading to a host of problems during the pregnancy journey.

In this blog, with the inputs from the best gynaecologist in Mumbai, Dr. Neelima Mantri, let us know more about these contractions, their causes, symptoms, and also the ways to combat them.

How do Braxton Hicks Contractions they differ from regular uterine contractions and pressures?

Braxton Hicks contractions are the practice contractions that often occur in the second and third trimesters. They differ from regular labour contractions in timing, discomfort cases, and also frequency.

Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular contractions that cause mild abdominal tightening or discomfort and last for less than a minute. There is no one specific reason for their occurrence, but they are generally thought to be triggered by a full bladder, physical activity, and dehydration. Because they are irregular and practice contractions, they do not lead to internal cervical changes.

On the other hand, regular uterine contractions are symptoms of labour and hence they follow a consistent pattern of occurrence, eventually leading up to childbirth. As popularly known, they are painful aches and cramps which last longer. As the due date nears, the contractions and symptoms become more frequent and intense and also last longer. These uterine contractions are the body’s preparation for labour, unlike Braxton Hicks contractions, which are just practice contractions.

Braxton Hicks Contractions Symptoms: How do Braxton Hicks Contractions feel?

Though they are often referred to as practice contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions do cause discomfort in irregular intervals. The timing and intensity of these contractions vary and follow an inconsistent pattern, which can be quite bothersome. Dr. Neelima Mantri, a leading gynaecological laparoscopic surgeon in Mumbai, explains, “The contraction experiences usually feel like menstrual cramps or a gentle squeezing sensation in the abdominal area. They occur sporadically in each case and typically last for less than a minute.”

Relief and Treatment for Braxton Hicks Contractions:

Because these are practice contractions, they do not have serious repercussions and can often be relieved through rest, changes in posture (such as standing up or lying down), and staying hydrated. Emptying the bladder, taking a warm shower, distraction techniques, pelvic tilts, and relaxed breathing are other common options that could help a patient find relief from Braxton Hicks Contractions.

However, if none of these practices provide relief, there could be an underlying reason causing these contractions. In such cases, it is crucial to consult with an expert gynaecologist for a thorough examination and appropriate guidance. If you are in Mumbai and seeking the best gynaecologist for treatment, you can contact Dr. Neelima Mantri.