What's Up With These Braxton Hicks Contractions?

Around the middle of your pregnancy, your body is steadily preparing itself for the big delivery day.

You might experience contractions of your uterus and as your body gears up for birth that will occur more often. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions.

This sensation is quite literally your uterus "working out" to prepare it's muscles for birth.

As weird and uncomfortable as these contractions might be, it's actually a very normal experience.

These pre-contractions feel similar to early labor contractions, and can cause quite the alarm when a mother experiences several during late stage pregnancy.

These contractions are contractions, but they aren't strong enough to deliver a baby.

How early can Braxton Hicks contractions begin?

These contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, which can catch mothers off guard and raise red flags. Braxton Hicks contractions are most common in the third trimester and will come and go. These contractions aren't steady or rhythmic, but sometimes gives the sensation of false labor to first time moms.

Do Braxton Hicks contractions cause you to dilate?

Though these contractions aren't thought to play a role in physically dilating your cervix, some research on Braxton Hicks contractions suggest they might soften the cervix. These are just "spasms" in your muscles and aren't encouraging your body to go into labor. If you're experiencing some contractions followed by these symptoms, contact your medical provider or midwife.

Will Braxton Hicks contractions hurt the baby?

Any contraction puts pressure on the baby and they feel the sensation, however it doesn't hurt them and actually prepares them for the sensation of labor. Some think it's these contractions that help babies from becoming too physically stressed during labor. During labor, if intense contractions are experienced during prolonged labor there may be negative effects on the newborn and injuries.

Braxton Hicks contractions are an interesting sensation that proves again how incredible a woman's body can be as it prepares for birth.

Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as week 7 and occur randomly throughout the duration of the pregnancy, helping you and your body prepared for your baby's birth day!

If your Braxton Hicks are more than just uncomfortable or you are concerned about their frequency, contact your medical provider for more information.