Most women don’t hear of this term until they actually start feeling the Braxton Hicks, and call their doctor thinking it’s false labor. Some women who attend pregnancy classes however, are completely aware of what they are and what they feel like. In this first line, I said women confuse it with false labor. Well, they are pretty much similar. You might feel tightening of your tummy, in simple terms, and sometimes they also have an effect on the cervix. If a few experts are to be believed, these Braxton Hicks make your cervix ready for the actual labor. Of course, we will look at some symptoms you might experience so you can understand what happens.
What Are Braxton Hicks?
Half way through your pregnancy or maybe even a little earlier, you might experience your uterus muscles tightening. If you touch your tummy when this happens (it lasts a few seconds at least), you can actually feel your uterus harden. Often mistaken as cramping in early pregnancy, this happens every few hours and may last approximately for about half a minute. These are also called Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions will increase with the increase in size of your uterus. They are called Braxton Hicks because they were first discovered by an English doctor called John Braxton Hicks, in 1872.
What Do Braxton Hicks Feel Like and When Do They Start?
Now, to the main focus of the article. What do these contractions feel like, is a commonly asked question by first time mothers. The reason for this being that they are often told that labor contractions feel the same. Yes, in a way that is certainly true but then there are ways in which you can determine the difference between the two. A tightening of muscles is felt when you experience Braxton Hicks contractions. However, these contractions are not experienced at regular intervals like labor pain. If you change your position to another one, they stop. Another very important point is that you will feel them only few times every hour. In one particular episode, their intensity stays on the same scale, but will increase as the weeks pass by. Braxton Hicks contractions are said to start around your 16th week of pregnancy. As you progress in your pregnancy, these are said to increase in frequency and intensity.
Know The Other Side…
Just knowing what do Braxton Hicks contractions feel like isn’t enough, you should also know the other side. Now that you know what Braxton Hicks feel like, you should also know what regular contractions feel like, which means the usual labor pain contractions. These are more regular and yes, they increase with intensity. They do not subside immediately when you change your position at that time. They are a bit more in intensity and usually as they say, ‘you will know’ they are labor pains. In normal labor contractions, you will experience an increase in three things. The duration of the contractions, their intensity and their frequency.
Now that you know what Braxton Hicks feel like, you can easily tell if they are misleading signs of going into labor. However, there are a few important things you should keep in mind while knowing what do Braxton Hicks pains feel like. For example, if you experience bleeding along with these pains, call your doctor. The chances of going into premature labor are less but they do exist. If you experience water discharge, again call your doctor immediately.