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an someone answer a simple question for me about BH?

(7 Posts)
mad4mybaby Wed 13-Aug-08 19:12:34

Should they hurt? Have asked before wether these are BH im having or not and never really got a staightforward answer so trying here again! Basically every day quite a few times i get one side of my bump (normally the right) goes hard but its like something is pushing outwards (i always assumed the baby) as in you can feel a definite shape as apposed to the whole bump going hard. It feels like something is being twisted inside doesnt usually hurt most of the time uncomfortable and normally when im on the sofa. Today ive been having them whilst standing up (never had before) and it actually hurt. Im only 25 weeks with #2.

I went into hosp with ds1 to be monitored and when the MW came back into look at the machine she said oooh look at all these contractions your having. All i had felt was exactly as i described as above but with ds1 i always assumed it was the baby moving/pushing outwards. BH are just a type of contraction arent they? So would they show on the monitor as a contraction?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 13-Aug-08 19:16:34

BH are painless oontractions of the uterus. However, they can take your breath away sometimes, so I would say they are uncomfortble rather than painful.

When the uterus contracts I should imagine it makes the baby move, or when the pg is further on they squeeze the baby - which would also make them move.

MKG Wed 13-Aug-08 19:53:22

I didn't have any with ds1 but with ds2 they were very painful. They do show on monitors, though. Once I was being monitored at an appointment and I had a really painful one, the doctor came in a said well look at that little contraction you just had.

fernie3 Thu 14-Aug-08 08:04:27

BH I had especially during my secong pregnancy hurt at certain times,I think it had to do with the poition of the baby at the time. My BH never showed on the monitor but then again both times i have been in labour u have been told I am not having contractions because they dint show on the monitor and both times I have given birth less than an hour later (with my second it was only 15 mins from being told no contractions to actually holding him!).

If the cintractions are painful and do not go away after you have moved around a bit and had a nice big drink I would give the midwife a call just in case they are either REAL contractions OR it could be something like a UTI which can cause painful contractions even without other symptoms.
hope that helps!


PetitFilou1 Thu 14-Aug-08 08:21:23

I agree with iliketomoveit's description of them. But everyone's pain threshold is different - so I guess what is uncomfortable for some women is painful for others. Yes they are a type of contraction so I would think they'd show up on a monitor if strong enough.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 14-Aug-08 08:48:07

BH are the stomach muscles contracting, not the uterus. They don't hurt but can be uncomfortable. I think the baby probably feels them so moves away from them IYSWIM, because I often feel the baby pushing on one side during a BH contraction.

PetitFilou1 Thu 14-Aug-08 08:59:50

Kat - Actually that's not true, not sure who told you that. It is the uterus contracting - see explanation below:

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

Sometime towards the middle of your pregnancy (or even earlier), you may notice the muscles of your uterus (womb) tightening, for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. This may happen to you several times an hour, several times a day.

Not all of us feel these random, usually painless contractions, which get their name from John Braxton Hicks, an English doctor who first described them in 1872.

Experts have different opinions about Braxton Hicks contractions and their true purpose. Some believe that they play a part in getting your cervix ready for labour (also called "ripening").

Others believe that Braxton Hicks contractions do not lead to changes to the cervix and that ripening only occurs in pre-labour, when the first co-ordinated contractions of labour start or in labour itself.

How can I tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and real labour contractions?

Most women who are pregnant for the first time will ask their midwives or friends this question, and the answer is maddeningly vague: "You'll know real labour when it begins." And they're right.

Labour contractions are noticeably longer as well as more regular, frequent, and painful than Braxton Hicks contractions. Also, labour pains are persistent, and will increase in frequency, duration, and intensity as time goes on, while Braxton Hicks contractions remain unpredictable and non-rhythmic.

What if the Braxton Hicks contractions become painful?

As your pregnancy progresses, these contractions may become more intense and even painful at times. When they start to become more intense and frequent, they may feel like the real thing, but the contractions will still be irregular in intensity, frequency, and duration, and can taper off and then disappear altogether.

In other words, if you ever notice that your contractions are easing up in any way, they are probably Braxton Hicks.

Some healthcare professionals recommend that you think of Braxton Hicks as "practice contractions" not just for your uterus but also for you to rehearse the breathing exercises you'll learn in your antenatal class.

What should I do if they're uncomfortable?

Many women notice that the contractions come more frequently when they do even light physical activity, such as carrying in shopping from the car.

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 ease any pain you feel. A warm bath sometimes helps, too.

When should I call my doctor or midwife?

If you are less than 37 weeks pregnant, call if your contractions are accompanied by:

• watery or bloody vaginal discharge

• lower back pain or cramping

These are all signs associated with premature labour.

You should also contact your midwife or doctor if these symptoms occur and you're past 37 weeks, or if you think your waters have broken, if you have any bleeding or if you think your baby's movements have decreased.

Check our other pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore to make sure you haven't missed any other signs of a problem.

If your contractions become longer, stronger, more regular and more frequent then your labour may be starting. Your midwife will probably have talked to you about what to do when you think labour has started, but if you're in any doubt give her a call.

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