The term ‘Braxton Hicks’ originated in 1872 when an English doctor named John Braxton Hicks understood and explained the contractions a mommy experiences weeks and months before she gives birth, they named these contractions after him. The following information should be helpful in determining the difference between real labour and Braxton Hicks contractions.
Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, but they are most commonly experienced in the third trimester. When this happens, the muscles of the uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds but can sometimes last up to two minutes. Braxton Hicks are also called ‘practice contractions’ because they are a preparation for the real event and allows for the opportunity to practice the breathing exercises taught in prenatal classes. Braxton Hicks don’t increase in intensity or frequency, they are unpredictable and non-rhythmic.
For some woman it can feel painful, but they are generally more uncomfortable than feeling pain, they are also irregular in intensity. If the contractions ease up after a couple of minutes, they are most likely Braxton Hicks.
We always recommend to speak with your healthcare and report anything that might be a concern to you during your pregnancy. Your and your baby's health is the most important thing right now.
*All of our information are only guidelines and are not intended to replace the advice of a professional medical specialist; we are providing information to you on a general information basis only. My Pregnancy Journey disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.