Connect with us

Third trimester

All about Braxton Hicks contractions

From the second half of pregnancy, generally, the so-called Braxton Hicks contractions begin to be felt: a type of sporadic contractions of the uterus that are painless, although somewhat uncomfortable.

If you are pregnant, you are interested in knowing what they consist of and why they feel. We give you all the answers!

Braxton Hicks contractions are prep exercises before delivery. 

They usually last approximately 30 seconds and, as the pregnancy progresses, they become more and more durable and feel more frequently.

Braxton Hicks contractions owe their name to Dr. John Braxton Hicks. This was the drug that described them in 1872 for the first time.

How does it feel to have these types of contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions, unlike those of childbirth, are painless and sporadic. What it feels like to experience them is a contraction of the uterus and lower abdomen, which contract to later relax again.

These are contractions that, although they do not cause pain, can be somewhat uncomfortable and are characterized by irregularity. Also, they are non-rhythmic contractions, which increase neither in intensity nor in frequency. On the other hand, as they decrease, they eventually disappear completely. 

How to differentiate Braxton Hicks contractions from labor contractions?

Both types of contractions are very different from each other. Labor contractions are very regular, usually happen every two to three minutes and can last from 90 to 120 seconds. Also, they are much more painful. Braxton Hicks contractions are usually painless.

If the contractions are painful or cause difficulties while walking, it is important to visit the doctor to make a proper registration and prescribe any medication, if necessary.

For greater peace of mind, if you are still far from the possible date of delivery and Braxton contractions are repeated more than four times in less than an hour, or are accompanied by other signs of premature delivery, you should call the doctor right now. Labor contractions are more easily identified, since they are more painful than baby kicks, and usually appear at regular intervals.

What causes Braxton Hicks contractions?

Different causes cause Braxton Hick’s contractions. For example, after having sex, by a very active mom or baby, if someone touches the belly of the pregnant woman or as a result of dehydration.

Some doctors and midwives believe that Braxton Hicks contractions are false labor, a way for the body to prepare for the time of giving birth to the baby. It is believed that these types of contractions play an important role in toning the uterine muscle and promoting blood flow to the placenta.

It is also believed that they may have a certain impact on the softening of the cervix. When they intensify, as the time of delivery approaches, they can help in the process of dilation and erasure.

How do you have to act against Braxton Hicks contractions?

If you feel your abdomen is tense, you should sit or lie down and rest. You should lie on your side and change the position. Also, stretching, having a good bath or walking can help reduce contractions.

Finally, to cope with the discomfort at this stage of pregnancy, it is always advisable to practice relaxation and breathing exercises that you could learn in childbirth preparation courses. 

How to relieve them?

Some measures will help you relieve this type of contraction. The best thing you can do to relieve Braxton Hicks contractions is:

  • Change position. If you have been standing too long, you can lie down or vice versa.
  • Take a hot bath. Remember, however, that the bath should last 30 minutes or less.
  • Drink water, tea or milk. This measure can help counteract these contractions, especially if they have been caused by dehydration.

Next, in the following video, Dr. Carlos B. Salvador, a gynecologist at the Gynaikos clinic, explains what type of contractions exist and how to recognize labor.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Third trimester

Third trimester of pregnancy: medical checks

During the third trimester, the second-trimester exams are repeated: blood, urine and glucose tests, ferritin, toxoplasmosis antibodies, Combs test, and ultrasound.

However, others must also be done. We detail them to you.

In the last three months of pregnancy, you will have to repeat some tests that you have already been doing during pregnancy. To these are added those that detect the hepatitis B and HBSAG virus, hepatitis C, a vaginal and rectal culture, coagulation tests and cardiotocographic controls. Discover what controls each of them:

Hepatitis B and HBSAG virus

• This analysis is carried out again in the third trimester, between weeks 33 and 37, since the risk of transmission, very low in the first two quarters, increases up to 70% if hepatitis is presented in the final period of pregnancyIf the woman is positive (carrier without symptoms), the child will receive specific immunoglobulins as soon as she is born, to prevent her from contracting the disease. Then, you can feed your chest without problems.

Hepatitis C virus

• This is the specific analysis to check if the mother has antibodies against the hepatitis C virus. If positive, the virus genome (HCV RNA) should also be dosed, to see if, also to the antibodies, the virus is active. In this case, nothing changes concerning the mode of delivery, but it will be necessary to assess whether it is appropriate to suspend breastfeeding.

Vaginal and rectal culture

• It is usually done between weeks 35-37, to detect the presence of Streptococcus agalactiae (also known as group B streptococcus), a bacterium that can inhabit the vagina and rectum without the pregnant manifest any symptoms. If the result is positive, the future mother should be given antibiotics during childbirth, to prevent the infection from passing to the fetus during its passage through the birth canal.

Coagulation tests

• They are used to control that the blood of the future mother coagulates normally. This is an essential test since it allows predicting a possible risk of bleeding during childbirth and confirming whether epidural anesthesia can be used.

Cardiotocographic controls

• From week 37, cardiotocographic controls are usually prescribed (also known as fetal monitoring or “straps” ), which are used to control the fetal heart rate and the presence of uterine contractions. They are a great indicator of fetal well-being and offer the necessary data to determine if childbirth is more or less imminent.

Continue Reading

Third trimester

Maternity girdle: when to use it?

As the belly grows, many future mothers begin to feel severe pain in the lower back and back.

In these cases, it may be necessary to use a maternity girdle. But what exactly is it and when should it be used?

Not all pregnant women have the same type of abdomen growth during the gestation period, nor do they all show the same symptoms. However, it is a very common fact that, as the belly of the future mother grows, the woman begins to feel severe pain in the lower back and back, since the pressure that the baby’s weight exerts on the area It can become very strong. To solve this type of pain, many experts recommend the use of maternity girdle.

(Interested in: Kidney pain in pregnancy )

Maternity girdles are like tight and tall panties, covering the entire stomach, and incorporating a band that holds the belly at the bottom. Its main function is to provide support to the belly of the future mother, to lighten the weight that presses the lower back. However, experts mention a series of considerations that must be taken into account when using the maternity belt.

When is the use of maternity belts recommended?

According to experts, the maternity bands replace the work that the muscles should do, which, in the long run, could be counterproductive, since the abdominal muscles stop working what they should and end up atrophying, in addition to postpartum recovery would be slower. Therefore, before buying a belt, it is important to assess with an expert the use and type of it.

It is recommended to use it when specialized doctors or midwives have detected any alteration that the belt can correct. In this case, however, the maternity belt could be used but under optional control. If the future mother decides to use it because, due to the weight of the belly, she feels very uncomfortable, it would be necessary to take it a certain time a day, previously indicated by an expert.

(You are interested: Back pain in pregnancy )

Without a doubt, the best way to preserve strong abdominal muscles during pregnancy is to let the muscles do their main function: work day and night so that the organs stay in place as the womb and belly grow. But this does not mean that, if extreme pain is felt, the belt cannot be used to hold the belly, especially during the last stages of the gestation process.

(Interested in: Benefits of swimming: midwife tips ) 

To fortify the muscles, health professionals usually recommend physical exercise during the 9 months of pregnancy, and not only for the health of the mother but also for that of the baby. Under medical control, swimming, for example, is one of the most complete sports, since it tones the muscles, corrects the position of the spine, improves circulation and promotes breathing.

Have you ever used a maternity girdle? What was your experience with this type of panty? Tell us why you decided to use it!

Continue Reading

Third trimester

What is the nest syndrome in moms?

Often, when a pregnant woman is about to give birth, she starts to get nervous thinking about everything she has to do before the baby arrives: prepare her room, place the child’s things, clean the house thoroughly, etc.

This is called ‘nest syndrome’. We explain what it is!

The nesting syndrome, also known as ‘nesting instinct’, consists of a state of hyperactivity, which occurs in the last weeks of pregnancy and is very common, especially in first-time mothers. These mothers do all kinds of work at home, which they had never done before so that when the baby arrives, everything is ‘prepared’. For example, cleaning ceilings, polishing floors, sorting cabinets in a different way or painting rooms of other colors.

(You are interested:  Decorate the baby’s room and have everything ready for your arrival! )

As its name indicates, the ‘nest syndrome’ is a similarity to the animal instinct of birds to prepare a nest before laying eggs and brooding their young. It is an uncontrollable feeling of arranging everything perfectly so that the new family member is comfortable.

How do I know if I have nest syndrome?

The nesting syndrome usually occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy, when the belly has already grown a lot, hence moms should be very careful when performing tasks that require sudden movements, lifting heavy objects or climbing stairs to reach high areas

(You are interested: The arrival of the baby home )  

Pregnant women who feel the nest syndrome usually respond affirmatively to these points:

  • They need to have everything tidy, although before they got pregnant they weren’t so tidy.
  • They decide to change the colors of the room in which the baby will be.
  • They order the baby’s room well in advance.
  • Sometimes, they cannot sleep thinking they have forgotten to do something important.
  • They clean the closets thoroughly and arrange the clothes very neatly.

Mothers must know that if doing all this leaves you calmer, you can do it normally, but it is never good to become obsessed. Ideally, prioritize what is important and ask for help with housework to avoid overstressing. On the other hand, the last weeks of pregnancy must be dedicated, mainly, to take care of yourself and prepare for childbirth.

If you have the nest syndrome, you should get carried away naturally, using instinct, but trying to channel that hyperactivity to not end up exhausted.

(You are interested: Dangers of motherhood )

Have you had or do you have nest syndrome? How did you prepare your baby’s nest? Explain to other moms how you lived it!

Continue Reading