Many expectant women experience Braxton Hicks contractions any time within their third trimester. At times, the contractions can begin during the 20th week of the second trimester. But what are Braxton Hicks contractions and how can you manage them? The contractions occur when an expectant woman’s uterus constricts. This action triggers discomfort that lasts for one or two minutes. Health experts claim that the contraction is a normal process that promotes optimal blood circulation to the placenta, and strengthens the uterine muscles.
Braxton Hicks that occur a few days to delivery prepare an expectant woman for real labor and childbirth.
How are Braxton Hicks contractions different from labor contractions?
Braxton Hicks are unpredictable. They can appear any time between your second and third trimesters. Furthermore, the contractions’ intensity does not increase. Instead, they ease up and disappear within a few minutes. Sometimes, the contractions might go with a change in position.
Contractions associated with labor are frequent, stronger, and painful. Their intensity increases drastically, and it does not ease up. You may not walk or talk when experiencing real labor. Doctors say that you are likely to experience Braxton Hicks if your baby is active or someone has touched your belly. Furthermore, you are likely to experience the contractions after sexual intercourse, or when your bladder is full.
Are Braxton Hicks Contractions manageable?
If your Braxton Hicks contractions affect your healthy life, the following tips will save you from the discomfort.
1. Change of position or activity
Braxton Hicks can disappear by a mere change in position. For instance, you can have a rest if you were engaged in some exercise, or you can stand and walk around if you had sat for a prolonged period.
2. Soak up in warm water
Soaking up in warm water is an excellent therapy for Braxton Hicks contractions. The therapy boosts blood circulation, and it promotes muscle relaxation. Experts recommend soaking up for 30 minutes.
3. Keep Calm
Braxton Hicks contractions last for an average of two minutes. As such, you would want to keep calm as they ease up. In this event, you can practice deep breathing as a remedy to help you relax.
When should you seek medical attention?
Contact your midwife if the contractions’ intensity and frequency continue to increase without easing up. Moreover, you should seek medical attention if you experience persistent abdominal pain, inability to walk, vaginal bleeding, and or reduced baby movements.