Braxton Hicks contractions are contractions of the uterus that occur during the third trimester of pregnancy. 

They are normal and represent contractions that occur as the uterus is preparing to give birth. In some women, they occur as early as the second trimester. 

Braxton Hicks contractions have been referred to as “false labor.”

Unlike the contractions of true labor, Braxton Hicks contractions do not occur at regular intervals, do not get stronger over time, and do not last longer over time. They do not occur at regalar intervals, and they may disappear altogether for a time. They tend to become more frequent toward the end of pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks contractions are triggered by

Increased activity of mother or baby 

Touching of the maternal abdomen


Sexual intercourse

Distended bladder of the pregnant woman

Braxton Hicks contractions are not typically as painful as those of true labor contractions. Some women describe them as a tightening sensation across the lower abdomen and some may feel similar to menstrual cramps.

The abdomen may become firm to the touch.

TIPS to help relieve Braxton Hicks contraction discomfort and pain

Change positions, take a walk, or rest if you have been active.

Hydrate yourself- Drink a glass of water, or a cup of herbal tea.

Do some relaxation exercises- deep breathing, or mental relaxation.

Eat something.

Warm water bath for up to 30 minutes.

Call your doctor immediately

If you haven’t reached 37 weeks and the contractions are increasing in frequency, are becoming more painful, or if you have any of the following signs:

  • Increasing vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, or spotting;
  • Increasing low back pain or pelvic pressure;
  • More than four contractions in an hour;
  • Menstrual-like cramping or abdominal pain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.