17 answers

Braxton Hicks vs the Real Deal

37 weeks, had pretty intense Braxton Hicks last night. This morning they are coming on again. The too of my uterus is sore. However, it's harder on the top of my stomach and not so much in the lower abdomen. Is there a coralation between Braxton and the real deal. I'm so worried I won't know when it's real. Any pointers or suggestions?
Thanks,
First Time Mom

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Apparently walking and slight exercise can stop Braxton Hicks Contractions whereas if its the real deal, walking will bring on the contractions more so. Also like others have said, BHC will be very sporatic and have no rhyme or rhythm to them
Good Luck and Congrats

I don't think I ever had braxton hicks contractions. My contractions felt like menstrual cramps for both of my pregnancies. My water broke at home with both pregnancies too. I also went into labor 10 days before my due date with my first pregnancy and 14 days before my second pregnancy, so you really could go at any time! Good luck and congrats!
A.

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BH's are usually felt more at the top of the uterus or all over the belly. Pre-labor contractions are usually felt in the pelvic girdle area, i.e pubic bone, lower back, hips and/or down into the upper legs. For most women they feel like period cramps and/or an off and on lower back ache. Your belly will still get hard but the focus is more down low. Make sure you are drinking lots of water because dehydration can cause painful, unproductive uterine pains. Also remember to slow down if the pains coincide with alot of activity.

C. M., CBE, CLD
Westside Birth Connection

3 moms found this helpful

Rewind to my first pregnancy - I asked the same exact question. Trust me, you will know. I know that is a crappy answer, and I use to hate when people told me that. But you definitely will know!! Braxton Hicks make your tummy really tight and can be uncomfortable. When they are real contractions, at least for me, that tightness is also paired with period like cramps. In the beginning the cramps aren't so bad...kind of like the PMS or first day of period cramps. But then the start getting more intense. While Braxton Hicks are uncomfortable, they are bearable. Real contractions are the type of thing that will start to take your breath away, they are painful, not just uncomfortable. I'm not trying to scare you BTW, just trying to give my experience.

Good luck mama!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I had braxton hicks from 20 weeks on with 3 pregnancies, stupid things. Being a first time mom, call your doc when they're 10 minutes apart, and get your butt to the hospital if they're 5 minutes apart or less! Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go to the hospital. Ditto if your water breaks. Try laying on your left side for a bit. If you can move around (or lay down), if anything makes the pain go away, they're braxton hicks. Always call your doc if you're still in doubt; they won't mind!! :) Good luck and congrats!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think I ever had braxton hicks contractions. My contractions felt like menstrual cramps for both of my pregnancies. My water broke at home with both pregnancies too. I also went into labor 10 days before my due date with my first pregnancy and 14 days before my second pregnancy, so you really could go at any time! Good luck and congrats!
A.

Braxton Hicks can be very painful for some but are different. Being a first time mom you won't know until you are really having the real deal. The real ones are regular contractions and with time get closer and closer. Until you see a true sign of regular contractions assume they are BH. And believe me, you'll know. They are a different feel, hard to explain until you go through it yourself.

For me, the BH was a pulling and reaction to activity I was doing or just a constant nagging on my body. With my oldest, I had some occasional tightening around the middle. With my second it was horrid. The pain at times put me in tears, kept me awake at night as well. When I'd get up to walk they hit hard so I had to sit or lay a lot to avoid them. With my triplets I couldn't feel them because I was so stretched out my stomach was numb.

Braxton Hicks is like practice contractions. It readies your uterus for labor. Why we have to be over prepared is beyond me, lol. But real contraction will start off soft and far apart, anywhere from an hour to 30 minutes or so. They will become a bit harder and closer together with time. You'll know the difference when it really comes. Very rarely do they hit you hard and all at once. Those are the rare stories. The only way you'd miss the beginning ones is if you slept through them but nature wakes you up. You sense what is happening.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

I am in the same boat as you only this is my third. For my first two contractions felt like menstrual cramps and I knew I was in labor when I had a little bloody discharge. If you can lay down and feel a little better or they are not getting more painful I would say it's not the real thing. Real contractions get more intense regardless of what you do. Call your doctor if your in doubt. Even though this is my third it's still hard to tell sometimes.

If they continue despite water and rest then they are probably the real deal. Time them. Regular interval equals contractions. When did your doctor tell you to go in? Eat before you go. Hospitals do not like to feed laboring women. And you need energy to make it through labor.

My real indicator was when I began to have a bloody discharge. It is hard to tell. I remember with my second child calling my mom to come over to watch my other child because it was time to go to the hospital and within an hour they stopped. So for me I couldn't tell the difference at first. Once I had a bloody discharge I knew it was the real deal. If you are unsure no harm in calling the doc. Such an exciting time for you!! Good luck!!

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