How long do Braxton Hicks contractions last?
First Let’s talk #Braxton #Hicks Contractions!
➡Braxton Hicks contractions are (usually) painless, irregular contractions (tightening) of the pregnant uterus. They can begin during the first trimester and increase in frequency as the pregnancy advances.
➡While we don’t know exactly why we have them, there are known circumstances that trigger Braxton Hicks contractions including when a pregnant person is very active, when the bladder is full, following sexual activity, and if you are dehydrated.
➡Sometimes called ‘practice contractions’, Braxton Hicks contractions are thought to play a role in toning the uterine muscle in preparation for the birth process as well as playing a roll in promoting blood flow to the placenta.
❓❓Some questions your midwife or care provider may ask you to determine if you are having braxton hicks contractions or true labor:
❓#How often are the contractions? Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and do not get closer together over time. True labor contractions come at regular intervals, and as time goes on, they get closer together and stronger.
❓How #long are the contractions? Braxton Hicks contractions are unpredictable. They may last less than 30 seconds or up to 2 minutes. True labor contractions last between 30 to less than 90 seconds and become longer over time.
❓#How #strong are the contractions? Braxton Hicks contractions are usually weak and either stay the same or become weaker and then disappear. True labor contractions get stronger over time.
❓Where are the contractions felt? #Braxton #Hicks contractions are often only felt in the front of the abdomen or one specific area. True labor contractions start in the midback and wrap around the abdomen towards the midline.
❓Do the contractions change with movement? #Braxton #Hicks contractions may stop with a change in activity level or as the woman changes position. If she can sleep through the contraction, it is a Braxton Hicks contraction. True labor contractions continue and may even become stronger with movement or position change.
🖐Some actions to ease #Braxton #Hicks contractions include:
✨Changing position or activity level: if the woman has been very active, lie down; if the woman has been sitting for an extended time, go for a walk.
✨Relaxing: take a warm bath, get a massage, read a book, listen to music, or take a nap.
✨Drinking water to rehydrate.
If these actions do not lessen the #Braxton #Hicks contractions or if the contractions continue and are becoming more frequent or more intense, ALWAYS check in with your healthcare provider!!
Have you experienced #Braxton $Hicks? How did they compare to your true labor?