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Braxton hicks at 21 weeks
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Braxton hicks at 21 weeks

Within the last week, my uterus has started becoming rock hard up to seven times a day. After posting a question on hear i was told i am experiencing braxton hicks contractions. I dont know how to react as i am a first time mum, and with one previous miscarriage i worry about everything. Should i ring my doctor? Is it normal for my belly to stay hard for up to 3 minutes? Could this mean i could come into labor? They are painless, and the only pain ive had all week is back pain, but not so much in my lower back but just below my neck. Is it normal to have them so frequently? Sometimes i have one then a couple of minutes later ill have another one. Any advice would really help. Im 20w+3days. I have a scan tomorrow, but i wont be seeing my midwife. What should i do..
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Hey hun! I was the one that told you that you were experiencing Braxton Hicks. Seven times a day is ok. It is a little bit uncomfortable and sometimes they happen and you don't notice and sometimes you definitely notice them. It's your uterus keeping everything toned and in tip top shape so when the real deal comes, you are ready! They shouldn't be anything to worry about until they become VERY tight and painful. You can definitely call your midwife and just ask. It won't hurt anything to just let her know!

You can read more info on braxton hicks contractions here: http://www.babycenter.ca/pregnancy/antenatalhealth/physicalhealth/braxtonhicks/

Here's a little blurbfor you....

Braxton Hicks contractions:
are infrequent, usually happening no more than once or twice an hour, a few times a day
often stop if you change activity, so, walk around if you've been sitting, and vice versa
are usually irregular, and if they are regular they only stay that way for a short spell
do not last long, usually less than a minute
continue to be unpredictable and non-rhythmic
do not increase in intensity
Compared to Braxton Hicks contractions, labour contractions are usually:
noticeably longer
more regular
more frequent
more painful
keep on going, increasing in frequency, duration, and intensity as time goes on
You may experience what is called false labour. This is when Braxton Hicks contractions come more rhythmically, perhaps every 10 to 20 minutes in late pregnancy.

False labour can be hard to tell apart from early labour, particularly if the tightening of your uterus feels uncomfortable. However, during false labour your cervix won't have started to change yet. Your midwife will be able to tell by carrying out a vaginal examination.

What if the Braxton Hicks contractions become painful?
As your pregnancy progresses, these contractions may become more intense and even painful at times. When this happens, they may feel like the real thing. But however strong they feel at the time, if they ease off, they are probably Braxton Hicks.

You may find it helpful to think of Braxton Hicks as practice contractions you can use to rehearse the breathing exercises you'll learn in your prenatal class.

You may notice that Braxton Hicks contractions come more often when you do even light activity, such as carrying the groceries. If you feel discomfort, it sometimes helps to lie down, or, conversely, to get up and take a walk. It's the change in activity that can help to ease pain. A warm bath sometimes helps, too.
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