Braxton Hicks — The Bump
May 2016 Moms

Braxton Hicks

Last week for a whole day I'd feel a tightness in my belly area for about thirty seconds. It wasn't painful, it was more like someone was pulling all my skin back. It actually happened a few times while I was teaching and it was so weird and new I would put my hand on my belly and tell the kids "hold on, baby's doing something". Thankfully my kids are amazing and just waited paitently!
All the moms I talked to said it was Braxton Hicks contractions and I shouldn't worry, my body's just starting the process of getting those muscles strong for the big day.
Any other moms experiencing light BH contractions? What did your mom tribe/ob/midwife/doula say?

Re: Braxton Hicks

  • Yep. I started getting them last week--also while teaching. It is the uterus practicing, but they can be brought on by dehydration, fatigue and/or stress too. If you sit and drink some water, they'll generally stop. My doctor isn't worried, and wasn't last pregnancy either, but did mention to take it easy if I'm feeling them often.

  • @kbrands7 that's exactly what I heard! It took me a whole day to realize I hadn't had as much water as usual!
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  • Ugh I started getting this a few weeks ago and my OB said it's just Braxton Hicks. I already drink loads of water all the time to keep my chronic kidney stones at bay but that's not helping at all. I typically get them when I'm out for my evening walks with MH and they aren't just a little tightening. I actually have to slow to a crawl pace because they hurt almost like painful cramps. Every time it happens MH gets concerned and thinks there is something wrong with the baby. Apparently his Ex had Pain-free, Weight gain-free, Vomit-free, Grumpy-free and BHC-free pregnancies. Lucky her. . . .
  • I started having BH's at 15 weeks with my first pregnancy and this time around they started at 14 weeks. Mine feel like my uterus is tightening and then releases after a certain amount of time. As long as they aren't becoming too frequent and/or are painful they are totally normal!
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  • How do you know the difference between bh and cramping/rlp??

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  • @yogahh BH really shouldn't be painful. It should just feel like a tightening around your stomach. RLP to me feels like sharp cramps.

  • @yogahh BH really shouldn't be painful. It should just feel like a tightening around your stomach. RLP to me feels like sharp cramps.

    I like this description. With BH too, your uterus will feel hard to the touch.

  • To me, cramps were much lower, sharp, and sometimes painful. BH's aren't painful at all (they do it uncomfortable towards the end of pregnancy). It feels like your whole belly tightens and then releases. Odd feeling to experience the first time!
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  • See I keep reading that they aren't painful so I have no clue what this feels like a tightening but it hurts quite a bit. It's the kind of hurt where you have to brace yourself and your fists clench in preparation. My OB keeps saying BH and that theres nothing fishy going on with baby. I feel concerned regardless. A
  • @Kurrant I have what you're explaining. My doctor says contractions aka BH. It may be due to having to pee, dehydration, being on your feet too long, having to poop (constipation), stress, not enough sleep, stretching of your uterus in general, being hungry... I had these with DD and have had them more frequently with this one. Drink a lot of water, make sure you're pooping often, if you've been on your feet for a while try sitting down and elevating your legs for about 15-20 min, eat a snack, try to get in a nap, etc. I know it's alarming but even your OB (and mine) say it's normal. Anxiety seems to make mine worse so... try (just try) to occupy yourself and try the stuff i mentioned and see if they don't get better :).
    Been married since 2009.
    Unicornuate Uterus (yes I menstruate glitter)
    Several MCs
    DD born 2013 (our miracle "you can't have babies" baby!)

  • Thanks @doozer1345 It's actually less worrisome knowing someone else is experiencing these painful types of BHCs. I tend to get mine during walks so some of your suggestions really make sense. During my walks I usually have to pee mid way through and I've been sweating so I might need more hydration ( its a very hot spring here atm) and my walks tend to last a bit. I might have to make some changes  :) 
  • @Kurrant I get a lot of pain when I'm on my feet for hours at a time. I wouldn't call mine BH, but there's definitely some crampy/sharp pains going on. They usually stop when I'm able to pee, sit down, and drink some water.

  • @Kurrant (sorry I'm new & I don't know how to tag) This is my 5th pregnancy & I've had a different OB every time. Not to worry you b/c I am an exception to the norm (yeah me) but my Braxton Hicks are painful & they actually make me start to dilate starting around 25 weeks. The reason I tell you this is b/c I have had to beg my OB to check my cervix b/c it is like they don't believe me for some reason that this happens every pregnancy. I have like 20-30 BH an hour & when I start to feel pain in my cervix I know to put my own self on bed rest & take it easy on lifting the other kids. With my 2nd I had to cry to get the Doc to check me & I was already at 4cm & I still had 14 weeks to go. I wish I was recording him when he checked me b/c his eyes got as big as gold balls & he apologized all over himself & put me on bed rest & rushed out of the room. Please don't hesitate to speak up for yourself if you feel there is something going on/wrong down there.
    I wish you didn't have to go through the thing with your DH & his previous "perfect pregnancy" experiences! I HATE being pregnant! I'd rather give birth once a week for 40 weeks than be pregnant for 40 weeks. For me popping the baby out is the easy part, it's the carrying them that sucks for me! Oh & did I mention I've had to be induced every freaking time & I call pitocin (sp?) the devil drip so for me to say pop a baby out every week I'm serious :)

    Oh & like I said I ate lots for you on Turkey Day & my G-Ma actually sent my cousin over with more today b/c I'm on bed rest due to unknown bleeding (as the OB put it) starting at 14 weeks & I'm now 16 weeks & some change. I am not having any contractions so I'm hoping & praying all is still good with LO. I lost my job due to extreme MS so I am now on state insurance (sucks!) so I'm having my Dad take me to the ER tomorrow for a quick peek to check on things. I got stuck in bed at my Mom's (bleeding increased) while we were visiting so I'm an hour away from my OB & I'm not risking driving to get to him when he doesn't even know why I'm bleeding in the first place.
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