Around the 20th week of pregnancy, even before, the uterus shrinks and hardens at times preparing for childbirth. Like any muscle, the uterus must have some training to support labour. These contractions are characterized because they cover all the uterus, starting at the top and gradually spreading downwards: are the Braxton Hicks contractions.
Although painless, are somewhat uncomfortable; you will feel your abdomen hardens and an abdominal tension when they appear. Braxton Hicks contractions are usually last for approximately 30 seconds.
As the pregnancy progresses, these contractions are becoming more frequent and long-lasting, even painful. Be able to, without a doubt, to distinguish them from contractions of childbirth, because they are very different. The contractions of childbirth are very regular, happen every 2 or 3 minutes and arrive at last 90 or 120 seconds each, not to mention that they do not go unnoticed because most of the time are painful.
How slow the symptoms of Braxton Hicks contractions? The recommendations are very simple.
If you feel that your abdomen is tightened, rest and relax. Lie down side and monitors the contractions for an hour, changing positions. It is very useful also to stand up and take a walk.
- More than 4 contractions per hour if you have less than 36 weeks of pregnancy or more than 5 contractions if you have more than 36 weeks.
- Accompanied by abdominal pain, backache or pelvic contractions.
- Accompanied by any type of unusual vaginal contractions.
- History of preterm birth.
If you show any of these symptoms or have any doubts, consult your doctor immediately.
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