Pregnancy / Childbirth

Braxton-Hicks contractions, or predictive contractions

Braxton-Hicks contractions, or predictive contractions


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Braxton-Hicks contractions are uterine contractions preparing this organ for labor. Few people know that they appear for the first time in the 6th week of pregnancy, but then absolutely future mother does not feel them, they can be identified by a pregnant woman at more than half of its duration, sometimes systolic activity is not recorded at all by the pregnant (remains imperceptible), other times it is very painful and can even hinder night rest, waking the future mother from sleep.

Precisely for this reason - the unpredictability of Braxton-Hicks contractions they may be badly received by the future mother and confused with "real" labor pains.

Braxton-Hicks contractions - what exactly?

Braxton-Hicks cramps were first described by an English doctor, whose names they took their name from. It was in 1872.

Only in rare cases Braxton-Hicks contractions are painful. They are usually not painful, or they may cause slight discomfort. They are distinguished by the fact that they are:

  • rare
  • irregular
  • rather painless

Sometimes Braxton-Hicks contractions are difficult to distinguish from the first signs of an upcoming delivery (read more about delivery symptoms). On the next page - how to distinguish between predictive and contractile contractions.