As y’all know, we’re moving into a new house! Oh joy. Please, take it from me: moving during your third trimester does not only suck royally, but it is also a pain in the uterus.
A pain in the WHERE?!
The uterus. Specifically, in the form of Braxton Hicks contractions. To be fair, Braxton Hicks aren’t painful, but they sure are annoying. And since they can be triggered by stress or activity, I’ve been experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks.
I began to experience my first Braxton Hicks contractions around Week 19 or 20; most women get them during the second trimester (although some women never notice it at all). These contractions are basically ‘practice contractions;’ doctors believe that they are a way for your uterus to tone and prepare for labor.
When I have a Braxton Hicks, I can feel my uterus get very tight; the sensation usually lasts 30 seconds to a minute and dissipates quickly if I sit down and relax. Generally, Braxton Hicks are infrequent, unpredictable, don’t have a set rhythm, are not painful, and do not increase in intensity or frequency. Many things can bring on a Braxton Hicks contraction, including activity, a full bladder, sexual activity, dehydration, or … you know … the stress of moving. Hah!
Of course, Braxton Hicks should not be confused with early labor. Frequent, rhythmic, or painful contractions mean you should give your midwife or doctor a call. Here are other signs of early labor or other problems that can be confused for Braxton Hicks contractions.
Have you experienced Braxton Hicks contractions?