Berry Belly

Let’s meet Mr. Braxton Hicks!

Okay, I bet all yo preggo mamas know Mr. Braxton Hicks, especially those who are in their late pregnancy stage. Mr. Hicks (smart dude!) already noticed these symptoms since 1872. Those (very annoying) false labor symptoms are actually your body’s way of rehearsing to get ready for the big day. Anyway, practice makes perfect, right?

The golden question is how to differ the Braxton Hicks contractions and real ones? Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and infrequent. Once you get closer to your estimated due date, even these contractions become more frequent and intense. It is difficult to distinguish from real labor, but they’re not efficient enough to push your baby out just yet. However, real contractions grow stronger, longer and closer together as you near labor; if you notice this and other common labor signs you’re likely all systems go.

They said that the ways to relieve these false contractions is by changing position, drinking a couple glasses of water, try relaxation exercise or deep breathing, or take a warm bath to relax your body. For me, changing positions and deep breathing usually works.

When to call the doctor? You might want to download a contraction counter app to help monitor the frequency and interval of your contractions. They said that if you haven’t reached 37 weeks and your contractions are becoming more frequent, rhythmic, or painful, or if you have any of these possible signs of preterm labor, just go to the hospie immediately:

  • Abdominal pain, menstrual-like cramping, or more than four contractions in one hour (even if they don’t hurt)
  • Any vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • An increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge — if it becomes watery, mucusy, or bloody (even if it’s only pink or blood-tinged)
  • More pressure in the pelvic area (a feeling that your baby’s pushing down)
  • Low back pain, especially if it’s dull or rhythmic, or you didn’t previously have back pain

My Doc said that if the contractions are 1 hour apart and more than 6 times repeatedly, just go check to the hospie. Better safe than sorry! My hospie is around 45-1.5 hour from home/work depending on traffic, so when it reaches that stage, I would definitely rush to the hospie.

Come on, Berry! Hurry up and prepare for check-out. Mommy is getting impatient with these false labor signs, we can’t wait to meet you!


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