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Braxton-Hicks Contractions

Mar 19, 2008
Braxton-Hicks contractions are the result of the muscles of the uterus contracting, or tightening, for up to two minutes in length. Also referred to as practice contractions, these are often theorized to be the act of the human body preparing your psychological and physiological system for the actual moment of final contractions before giving birth.

Though no research has culminated in an actual one hundred percent positive reasoning behind Braxton-Hicks contractions, it has been often theorized, and backed up by supplemental research, that this is the basically an exercise by the uterus and the placenta in blood flow and muscular toning. In layman's' terms, it is an automatic exercise by the body. When Braxton-Hicks contractions occur close to the date of actual delivery, they are referred to as false labor pains.

The symptoms of Braxton-Hicks are rather obvious and once one becomes aware of them, they can deduce the difference between these and actual labor pain. Braxton Hicks contractions are not spaced equally apart, or happen regularly. The intensity of them can be moderate to semi-intense, but tend to never be of the same level on a regular basis. Most mothers-to-be state that they aren't overly painful, but rather leave you feeling discomfort. The way to tell the difference between this and actual labor pains is that if they begin to subside slowly, and go away, then it is likely merely Braxton-Hicks contractions.

The Braxton-Hicks contractions are not usually actually random, but are caused by outside stimuli, such as after a day or hour or so of extreme activity. If you are working out regularly, you will likely get them. Also, if your baby is experiencing a day of more than usual movement, Braxton-Hicks contractions may occur. This can also be the result of needing to urinate or after sex, and even something so small as someone laying a hand on your stomach.

Fortunately, this is not a condition that you just have to deal with. There are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Start by drinking water, at least two or three glasses, as often any kinds of contractions during the child bearing months can be caused by even the slightest dehydration. Then, if this does not work, try a warm bath. Make it warm, not hot, as you do not want to overheat your child within. If you have been sitting, stand, walk, or lie down. Positioning can often have a lot to do with this phenomenon.

Braxton-Hicks syndrome often puts Moms-to-be in a panic stage, particularly for first time pregnancies, as the victim all too often does not know what she is experiencing. Study this condition, always try the solutions listed above, and only after you have tried them all, consult a physician.
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