There's this little thing that can happen during your pregnancy to make you think that you could possibly be going into labor. Your belly can tighten and then relax. It can be sporadic with no real rhyme or reason. What is it? Braxton Hicks, but more on that later. I'm going to share my experience, short story time.
I remember taking several trips to the hospital during pregnancy number one because of many episodes of discomfort and what I thought were contractions. Each time, I was put on a monitor, and then sent home. However, one time I went and guess what? I was really having contractions. I was given medication to stop them because I was so early and we didn't want the little peanut to come yet. It can be confusing sometimes, telling the difference between a real contraction and braxton hicks. So I'm going to help shed some light on the two and what makes them different.
Braxton Hicks. What is it exactly?
This is false labor. It's your body's way to preparing you for labor. The discomfort you feel can happen whenever but mainly in the second or third trimester. You may feel it once and then not again for another twenty minutes, an hour later, or days later. There is no consistent pattern. It's also common to only feel discomfort in the front of the abdomen and changing the position you are in can also stop them and they don't increase in intensity. These are really nothing to worry about.
Contractions on the other hand
Really send you into labor! They intensify with over time and become more and more consistent. You may begin feeling them every twenty minutes, then every fifteen, then every five! The become closer and closer together the more your labor progresses. They are also more painful. Not only can you feel the pain in your lower abdomen, you can feel it in your lower back and upper legs as well. Unlike braxton hicks, changing positions will not stop the contractions.
So hopefully this little break down helped you some. Always remember if you are unsure, never ever hesitate to contact your health care provider or if you feel you need to seek emergency care go to the hospital. It never hurts to be sure!
Until next time! Peace love and light!
Pregnancy Health Coach