Braxton-Hicks Contractions are often called “practice contractions,” Braxton-Hicks Contractions can begin as early as the 2nd trimester but are most commonly experienced during the 3rd Trimester. During a Braxton-Hicks Contraction, the muscles of the uterus tighten for up to 1 minute and sometimes for as long as 2 minutes in duration; they are often described as irregular in intensity, generally more uncomfortable than painful, and they do not increase in intensity/frequency and they taper off. Some believe that they play a role in promoting blood flow to the placenta and helping to tone the uterine muscle. Certain activities can trigger a Braxton Hicks Contraction including when someone touches the mother’s belly, when mom or baby are very active, dehydration, during sexual intercourse, or when the bladder is full.
Things to Try:
- Try changing positions; for instance try lying down if you had been standing or stand and walk around if you had been sitting
- Drink a glass or two of water to hydrate if the contractions are brought on by dehydration