What is the difference between a Braxton hicks and a true labor?
My friend who is seven months pregnant is asking about a Braxton hicks which she thinks she is experiencing every now and then. She said she is experiencing contractions in her uterus. How is this differentiated from a labor. I know when you are about to give birth you have contractions in the uterus.
Braxton Hicks contractions are sort of like "practice" contractions. Her uterus is getting itself ready for the real thing. They aren't consistent and usually aren't as painful. It can hurt a little, but not like they do in real labor.
For me, braxton hicks just felt like my tummy was hard and tight but didn't hurt. When the real contractions came there was no doubt in my mind it was the real thing because of the pain.
The main difference between them is that Braxton hicks don't produce a baby. They are both real, contracting of the uterus. Usually labor contractions are more painful and begin to follow a pattern and get closer together and they make changes in your body as far as effacement and dilation. Braxton Hicks usually don't, although they can. The general rule is more than 4 per hour if you are preterm. If you get more than 4 call your doctor and lay down on your right side to see if it helps. You also have to get to know your body since everyone is different- my braxton hicks came every 5-10 min for 2 months before my babies were born, and were worse when I rested....so I broke all the rules.
I had the Braxton Hicks contractions with both pregnancies-- my stomach would get hard and tight, but the contractions were not painful. Once I went into labor and had contractions with the first pregnancy there was no confusing the two types.
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