Contractions- Are They Braxton Hicks or Should I Worry??

Updated on November 06, 2007
K.R. asks from East Liverpool, OH
8 answers

I feel a little silly with this question being that this is my 3rd pregnancy but I'm concerned. I am 7 months pregnant (due Jan 4) and I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for about 2 months. My concern is that for the last few nights I'm getting them fairly regularly - last night for example I was having a contraction every 10-15min or so for about 3-4 hours. I wouldn't worry too much execpt some of them were painful- not just the tightning- enough that after I went to bed they woke me up twice. I tried the drink a glass of water (3 in fact) and laying down but they seemed steady. Today I'm fine and I have been - it seems to happen more in the evening. Does my uterus just need more exercise since its my 3rd or could this be the sign of upcoming labor. Like I said I've done this twice before but I'm just not sure. Thought I'd ask!! Thanks

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answers from Cincinnati on

I was always told and taught through school that real labor will not stop with walking, it will actually intensify, and braxton hicks will become less intense. Real labor will not ever stop until the baby arrives, and braxton hicks, as you said do subside. BUT never worry about calling the doctor just to ask, that's what they are there for! Each pregnancy is totally different, a different baby, different body changes, different cravings and different labors. Doctors don't expect you to be an expert by any means. So with any fears or worries give them a call or write it down and bring it up at the next appointment! :) More info. for them means better care they can give you!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I was told by my ob that when there is regularity to them, you should get checked...not emergently but soon in the office or at your next visit just to make sure that these contractions are not causing cervical changes. When I got checked, he found that my contractions were because I had low fluid and my uterus was "irritated". Also sometimes they just happen, like you said, braxton hicks.



answers from Lexington on

I wuld give the doc a call. Most likely it is just braxton hicks, they can get pretty strong. But i was hospitalized twice at 32 weeks because of some other complications i was having and i started having "irritablity contractions". my ob/gyn said they were stronger than braxton hicks, but not full blown labor contrations. They had to give me 2 shots of turbutyline(sp?) to stop them. If that is what you are experiencing and it is not treated, then you can go into full blown labor.



answers from Dayton on

Hi K.,

I just had my third baby two months ago and had the same problems very early in my pregnancy. I had many nights where I told my husband "this is it!" I felt stupid asking my midwife since I had done this two times before but she said it was normal for the contractions to be a little intense at times. A couple of times they would take my breath away and I would find myself winded from them. She did tell me to watch them though and let her know if I felt like something was really going on. I think that when your body has already been through it and your stomach muscles aren't as formed as they were before, you feel it a bit more. In the end, I didn't go not even one day early! Hopefully this helps and you continue to have a healthy pregnancy. Good luck!



answers from Cincinnati on

my first child i started that at like beginning of my 8 months. i had the same thing. and they came regular. they told me to lay on my (i think left side) and drink lots of water. i went to the hospital like four times before i delivered. they ended up having to give me that shot to stop them. they were not dialating me but when they hooked me up they said they were looking like contractions. some of mine hurt to. i did not deliver till one day before. but being my first i did not no what labor felt like. if i were you and you have been drinking tons of water and taking it easy and they are still coming a lot in one hour i would call my dr. i have ofter wandered if i did not and they did not give me the shot to stop contractions if i still would of delivered when i did or earlier( don't know). but i did go on for the last couple of months haveing them , i would be doing something and they stopped me in my tracks.

M. s



answers from Cincinnati on

This is very sound exactly like I did about 2 months ago. I'm on my 3rd pregnancy...thought I knew what "real" contractions felt like. Boy was I wrong. I started having BH cont. at about the same time you said you started having them. At first they felt just like BH, but then they got worse and more painful. I went into the hospital only to find out that I was NOT getting dilated, and they were just BH. Needless to say, this happened another 2 times. In fact, I'm 37 weeks now and have been having painful contractions, that I could swear are real, pretty steadily for about 3 weeks now. But by now, I'm leary. I have one more OB appt. tomorrow. If I'm dilated at all, I hope she'll say go to the hospital. Otherwise, I'm scheduled for an induction on Monday the 12th. My frustration level is getting higher by the day. I just feel like I can't trust my intuition nor my body anymore. This pregnancy is NOTHING like the first two. And believe me, we're done after this one. LOL Thank goodness it's a girl (I have two boys).

My advice would be to call your OB or at least talk to your OB nurse. they seem to have the intuition you should have to know whether it's real or not. Then if she/he feels you need to go in, do it. I'd much rather be safe than sorry. Especially where there's children concerned.

Hope that helps. God's Blessings with the rest of the pregnancy! -A.



answers from Cincinnati on

I am a midwife. I recommend a Calcium Magnesium (2:1 ratio) supplement. It has a relaxant effect on the muscles and may relieve excessive Braxton Hicks and leg cramps too. If you start having regular contractions, make sure you are well hydrated, well nourished, and destressed. You may also have one glass of red wine, which will relax the uterus. You may also want to be checked to see if you are dilating from the contractions.



answers from Toledo on

boy it must be the third my third did the same exact thing from 6 months till the delivered her c-section at 36 weeks. It is scary because they are timable mine would last for hours if you get to concerned call your doctor or go get checked out. I was told by my doctor if they are timable for 1 hour and getting closer that is when you need to go I have never delivered a baby naturally my first was induced and the other were c-sections (i have big babies 1 9lbs14oz 4 weeks early) you don't want to wait to long if it is labor they can stop it or monitor you with you only being 7 months they may even want you on bed rest call your doctor I know bed rest is a pain but it is nothing compaired to a preemie. Listen to your body and you rdoctor no two pregnancies are the same. I would call

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