Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor: How to tell the difference

Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor: How to tell the difference

Have you ever wondered how you can tell if the contractions you're experiencing are Braxton Hicks or true labor? Read on to learn more.

As most moms know, Braxton Hicks contractions are contractions of the uterus that happen throughout pregnancy.

And sometimes, it can be difficult for moms to figure out if the contractions they're experiencing are Braxton Hicks or actual labor contractions.

So how can you tell the difference?

Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor

The main difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and true labor contractions is that in the case of labor, the contractions help thin out the cervix and also helps it dilate.

And unlike true labor, Braxton Hicks contractions  have the following characteristics:

  • They're usually not painful
  • They don't happen at regular intervals
  • The contractions don't happen closer together
  • They sometimes stop if you change positions or change your activity
  • They don't last longer as the contractions happen
  • They don't feel stronger over time

For the most part, pregnant moms usually start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions during the third trimester, or sometimes as early as the second trimester.

Labor contractions on the other hand, usually happen when you're close to your due date. Labor contractions can also become uncomfortable or painful, and happen at regular intervals. Once they start, they'll also feel stronger over time.

Should you be worried about Braxton Hicks contractions?

For the most part, Braxton Hicks contractions shouldn't cause you any discomfort. However, it is possible that they can sometimes feel uncomfortable, or even painful, but it shouldn't be something that you should be worried about.

Here are some things that you can do to help ease your contractions:

  • Change what you're doing. If you're walking and suddenly feel painful Braxton Hicks contractions, you should try resting or sitting down. On the other hand, if you're resting and feel some painful contractions, you can try standing up or walking around to help relieve the pain.
  • Dehydration can sometimes cause Braxton Hicks contractions, so drinking a glass of water might help.
  • Relaxation exercises or slow, deep breaths would help you cope with the discomfort.


READ: 5 Complications that can be dangerous during labor and delivery

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