Braxton Hicks Contractions---Part Two

What's the Difference Between Braxton Hicks and Labor?

Many women worry that they won't be able to tell the difference between their Braxton Hicks contractions and the real signs of labor. Here are a few things to keep in mind:


  • Braxton Hicks contractions don't increase in intensity, unlike labor pains.
  • Labor pains will increase in frequency, whereas Braxton Hicks contractions will eventually disappear.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions tend to be irregular, and occur sporadically. Real labor pains usually have a pattern to them.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions don't cause pain, but merely discomfort, unlike real labor contractions.


How to Stay Comfortable with Braxton Hicks Contractions

If your Braxton Hicks contractions are really causing you discomfort, there are some things you can do to help minimize their effects. Try some of these tips the next time you have a Braxton Hicks contraction.


  • Change your activity or position when you feel a Braxton Hicks contraction coming on. Usually a simple change in movement can help alleviate discomfort and even make the contractions go away.
  • Try resting for a little bit. Lie down on your left side and drink a glass of water.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can often cause your muscles to spasm, and may trigger Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Empty your bladder often. Bladder irritation can trigger more intense Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Practice yourlabor breathing techniqueswhile you are experiencing your Braxton Hicks contractions. Slow, deep, and rhythmic breathing can help alleviate discomfort.


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