If you`re a first-time mom, you might be wondering what a Braxton Hicks contraction feels like. These contractions are named after the English physician who first described them in the 19th century. They are also known as “practice contractions” or “false labor.”
Braxton Hicks contractions are a type of contraction that occurs during pregnancy. They are usually harmless and do not indicate that you are going into labor. These contractions are different from labor contractions in that they do not cause your cervix to dilate or efface.
So what does a Braxton Hicks contraction feel like? For many women, Braxton Hicks contractions feel like a tightening or squeezing sensation in the abdomen. Some women describe them as feeling like menstrual cramps. You may also feel pressure in your pelvis or lower back.
Unlike labor contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions are usually irregular and don`t follow a consistent pattern. They might start and stop abruptly, and they might be more frequent in certain positions or during certain activities, like walking or exercising.
There are some things you can do to ease the discomfort of Braxton Hicks contractions. Try changing positions or taking a warm bath or shower. Resting on your left side can also help. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water can also reduce the frequency and intensity of Braxton Hicks contractions.
It`s important to note that if you experience any painful or regular contractions that don`t go away after changing positions or resting, you should contact your healthcare provider. These could be signs of preterm labor.
In summary, Braxton Hicks contractions are a normal part of pregnancy and can be uncomfortable but are usually harmless. They feel like a tightening or squeezing sensation in the abdomen and do not cause your cervix to dilate or efface. Drinking plenty of water, resting and changing positions can help to ease the discomfort. If you experience any painful or regular contractions, contact your healthcare provider right away.