Braxton Hicks Contractions
During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, you may notice episodes when your belly tightens and becomes firm to the touch, then relaxes. These are episodes of tightening (contraction) of the uterine muscles called Braxton Hicks contractions. These normal contractions may be hardly noticeable or may be strong enough to make you stop what you are doing.
Considered "warm-up" exercises for the uterus, Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the 20th week of pregnancy, although most often they start between the 28th and 30th week.
Braxton Hicks contractions are usually infrequent in mid-pregnancy. However, they can be more frequent during the ninth month, sometimes occurring as often as every 10 to 20 minutes.1
Braxton Hicks contractions:
It may be hard to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and true labor. If there is any doubt, consult your health professional.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
- Early Care for Your Premature Baby
- What to Eat When You Have Cancer
- When to Take More Pain Medication