Friday, July 15, 2011

Braxton Hicks Contractions

With everything that is on my plate right now, including finding a new domicile, moving, 6 kids at home from school for the summer, and a husband - bless his heart - who is working 6 days a week, 12 hours per day, the Braxton Hicks contractions have kicked in. I don't think that the summer heat is helping the situation, either.

It's not unusual for them to start around week 20-30, but they are really coming in now. Of course, this is not something that I get worried about anymore...I've been through pregnancy enough to know how regular labor pains feel - and these are nowhere near that type of pain.

I'm talking about the uncomfortable feeling of contracting in the lower abdomen. No pain yet, just discomfort. For those of you who have never experienced them before or are pregnant for the first time, they may come as a source of nerve-wracking "oh-no's!", but for someone who knows all about the annoying Braxton Hicks contractions, I just take them in stride.

Because, I know that they are just the beginning of a long string of contractions that will finally lead to the real deal. They're doing their job to get that uterus ready for the birth of one of the most beautiful boys in this world. Oh, yes, I am one of those mothers who think my children are top-of-the-line products from some awesome DNA gene pools. Not to brag too much, but the nurses at the hospital usually drool over my babies. Okay, enough about the bragging...I try to make sure that my blog posts have some usefulness to readers, so...

Braxton Hicks Contractions

You may not notice them, but Braxton Hicks contractions actually occur throughout pregnancy...I usually start feeling them, as I said, around the 20th week and onward. They are irregular and painless - two signs that you are not in labor. (Because, as you most likely already know, labor contractions will be regular and painful!)

Stopping the Contractions

I have found, through my pregnancies, that Braxton Hicks contractions can be slowed, reduced or stopped completely by drinking water, moving around, or possibly even laying down for a while. A warm bath and breathing exercises can also help to reduce or eliminate the contractions. Do not underestimate the power of dehydration - regardless of the time of year. Dehydration has been the culprit for my contractions in past pregnancies...and stress has been an issue, too.

Contact Your Doctor

If you are experiencing contractions that are regular, at about four per hour, have lower back pain, you are bleeding or spotting or you see increased vaginal discharge, call your doctor. It may be just another teaser, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?

In the meantime, I will run to drink some more water and get to some breathing exercises. If I'm lucky, the kids will let me rest for a bit this afternoon. :)

Take care!
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