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Braxton Hicks: how will I tell the difference?!

(21 Posts)
NW10teacher Fri 03-Nov-17 16:24:22

I'm 32 weeks (twins) and I've been having BH for weeks now, quite noticeably. Yesterday they started coming much more regularly and were quite painful, so I (of course) had a total panic and convinced myself that I was going into labour! Turns out I wasn't and the MW said it's not uncommon for the BH to become more frequent / painful at this stage.

So now I'm just wondering... if that's the case, how will I know if the BH turn into real contractions? Perhaps this is the stupidest question ever asked, but I am a first-time mum so this is my first experience of this bit smile

NW10teacher Fri 03-Nov-17 16:25:24

(I hope this might also be a useful question / answer for others in my situation!)

CL1982 Fri 03-Nov-17 16:27:01


NW10teacher Fri 03-Nov-17 16:29:26


Expectingbsbunumber2 Fri 03-Nov-17 16:30:18

For me labour pains started out like period pains and obviously got more intense. You will know! 🙈

MachineBee Fri 03-Nov-17 16:31:08

In my experience there are other signs such as your waters breaking and needing to do lots of poos. Contractions also start to become more frequent. At least this was how it happened for me but your MW should be able to answer this better.

Congratulations btw and good luck. You’ll soon be there. flowers

BeyondThePage Fri 03-Nov-17 16:31:20

Not said to scare you in any way, because I remember BH hurting and me thinking they were real, but real ones hurt more. Lots more.

And generally you will have other signs - a show/mucus plug and perhaps waters breaking. And a feeling - can't describe it really, but a feeling that this is it...

NW10teacher Fri 03-Nov-17 16:42:28

See, I think the problem is that I am so paranoid that I think "this is it" every time it hurts a bit, or something feels slightly different. I just hope I'm actually going to realise when it IS "it".

My MW also said "you will know", and I was a bit like "...but what if I don't?"

Halfdrankbrew Fri 03-Nov-17 16:51:57

I only really got braxton hicks towards the very end of pregnancy, I had a couple of false alarms as I had them for a few hours getting more regular, they died off eventually though. The real thing started the same way with contractions getting more regular and painful gradually, you wouldn't be able to tell at first. I only lost the plug once in established labour too so that wasn't an early sign for me. It was mainly (sorry to say) the pain that was the main difference, a real labour contraction once you are definitely on your way is in a different league or at least it was for me.

NW10teacher Fri 03-Nov-17 17:12:38

Ah, thank you - that is reassuring. Not to know that there's going to be lots of pain I mean, but at least I'll know!

@MachineBee my midwife told me about needing to do lots of poos too, and that was one of the reasons I panicked yesterday (because I was needing to go to the toilet a LOT, sorry if tmi!). But I think I had a little tummy upset because I was sick a few times as well. Seems to be back to normal today!

Halfdrankbrew Fri 03-Nov-17 17:51:59

I was going to mention the labour poo thing, started writing and stopped myself as I thought it was tmi. But yes, basically I had the shits for about an hour in labour both times. I remember sitting on the loo and hanging onto the sink having contractions every 2minutes. We were trying to leave to go to hospital, my husband kept coming into the bathroom saying "seriously woman why are you taking so long". (My youngest is only a few months old so this is still very fresh in my memory!)

Lemonicelolly1 Fri 03-Nov-17 18:57:50

I also worry about this but mostly because I've not really had an BH. I'm 39 + 5 and other than the odd twinge had no pains. I worry because I've got nothing to compare it too I'll end up panicking over BH or ending up really far in to Labour before I realise I'm not just being dramatic and it's not BH blush

Halfdrankbrew Fri 03-Nov-17 19:14:59

Lemon I had the same kind of worries first time, thing is if you think you are in labour you just call up and they usually say come in and be checked. If you aren't in labour and all is well they just send you home. It'd be unlikely you'd deliver a first baby before you realise it was the real deal. Hopefully it won't be long for you now, good luck smile.

NW10teacher Fri 03-Nov-17 23:38:29

Lemon, you're so nearly there, I'm sure it will happen soon and you'll realise when it is happening, if that makes sense. All the very best of luck!

I think I'm being extra jumpy because I'm having twins and I know that a lot of twins ARE born early. I was actually not too worried about it till the BH started to be more noticeable and frequent yesterday. I tend to find that if I change what I'm doing (sit down if I've been standing, or walk around a bit if I've been sitting for ages) they ease off a bit. I've had a really upset tummy for 2 days (feeling sick and lots of toilet trips, sorry tmi) and my friend freaked me out by saying that happened to her when she went into labour. But I'm feeling a bit better now!

AnUtterIdiot Fri 03-Nov-17 23:46:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NW10teacher Fri 03-Nov-17 23:52:56

Oh! That stat is new to me, thanks smile My consultant told me the 50% between 32-6 weeks stat and I've also been living on tenterhooks.

Do you know what you're expecting?

AnUtterIdiot Sat 04-Nov-17 01:38:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnUtterIdiot Sat 04-Nov-17 01:38:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NW10teacher Sat 04-Nov-17 11:40:21

Ahh, sorry to hear that, but I'm glad you are being well looked after. It must be a pain to have to travel into London though! Mine are both girls.

AnUtterIdiot Sat 04-Nov-17 11:58:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NW10teacher Sat 04-Nov-17 14:30:52

MCDA mine. Lol, I like the 'packaged separately' description!

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